There’s always been something grand about Silverstein’s lyrical assertions – not that such ostentatiousness is such a bad thing. Few bands can deliver faintly ridiculous lines like “If my head stops spinning will my heart stop too” with such steadfast conviction – to the point where it’s possible to genuinely wonder if their lives depended on such claims.
Such all-in commitment has never been diluted, no matter how much the Canadian mainstays have tinkered at the edges of their sound. ‘Misery Made Me’ is no exception, seeing the quintet push their sound more than ever before – in part thanks to some excellent collaborations – but still delivering plenty to excite the masses.
‘Misery made me, nothing can break me’ they blast on opener ‘Our Song’, in one of those typically OTT lyrical pulls (again delivered with unwavering passion), but there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s a weapon’s grade earworm. Equally, ‘Don’t Wait Up’ – a song so massive it really could reach the clouds that they’re aiming for – possesses some of the most absurd lyrics of the year, with the brilliant/proper nonsense “I can’t hold myself together if I can’t feel my hands” a real standout.
Silverstein have more than two decades of this shtick to fall back on, and by now they’re masters of the craft. ‘Misery Made Me’ is bursting at the seams with extravagant metaphors and similes, all set against a backdrop of brusque punk rock and pulsating melodic hardcore.
But, if there’s one thing misery loves more than a tortured lyric, it’s company – and Silverstein have plenty of it on ‘Misery Made Me’. Comeback Kid’s Andrew Neufeld, The Devil Wears Prada’s Mike Hranica and Nothing,Nowhere all appear – and all are uniformly successful on their respective songs. In turn, such collaborations push Silverstein to some interesting spots musically.
Nothing quite matches the brilliance of ‘The Afterglow’, ‘Bad Habits’, ‘Three Hours Back’ or even ‘Red Light Pledge’ – and it’s remarkable just how well that song holds up, considering it’s two decades old – but ‘Misery Made Me’ proves Silverstein still have plenty in the tank.