When Silverstein announced they were doing a 10-year anniversary tour to celebrate their post-hardcore (aka “scream”) classic, Discovering the Waterfront, I was ecstatic. I hadn’t cared about a new Silverstein record in years and was thrilled to discover I’d have the chance to hear all the songs that had meant, and still mean, so much to me live one more time. Naturally, they played the record front to back at the show but that was only in the second half. The show opened with a smattering of songs from before and after Discovering the Waterfront, including unreleased tracks from their then forthcoming record, I Am Alive In Everything I Touch.
I was shocked. I loved everything they played from it. I knew I’d have to check out the record once it was released and thanks to the wonderful life I lead, I was given the chance to hear the record ahead of time in exchange for this review. Has anything changed with Silverstein’s sound between falling out of love with their new music and this record? Not really.
I Am Alive In Everything I Touch has the same post-hardcore aggression plus pop-punk levity formula as their other releases. There’s something darker and smarter this time around, though. Between Discovering the Waterfront and now, I felt the band’s releases lacked sincerity, as if they were merely playing the emo part that gained them so much popularity. Thankfully, I Am Alive In Everything I Touch corrects this with artistry, clear themes and the bravery to make their heavy parts more devastating and the delicate emotional parts more heart-wrenching.
Lyrically, the record is preoccupied with mortality and travel, understandable concerns for musicians, especially those who have been making and touring art for as long as Silverstein has. The consistent lyrical themes go a long way in making I Am Alive In Everything I Touch feel like a concept album. This atmosphere is further created by tracks that feature ambient sounds from metro stations across Canada. As a Montrealer, I felt a strange pride upon noticing that the sample in Je Me Souviens must have been recorded in our fair city.
There is much that separates I Am Alive In Everything I Touch from Silverstein’s catalogue and just as much that connects it, making it the perfect record for veteran fans who have strayed over the years and younger audiences looking to explore what the often underrated and mocked “screamo” genre has to offer on an artistic level.