Canadian post-hardcore group Silverstein's fifth album, Rescue, sounds more like a bid for commercial success than their rawer previous releases. And yet, while that would generally be a criticism for any band with underground roots, in this case, the results work, at least for the most part. The production is slicker, the pop-punky parts are poppier, and the songwriting is more streamlined—and occasionally too much so—but on the flip side, both the music and the themes delve more deeply into the extremes of human emotion. Lyrically, Rescue deals with universal life situations everyone can relate to on some level: insecurity about expressing emotions (“Forget Your Heart”), ending relationships (“Darling Harbour,” “Replace You”), unexpected death during one’s youth (“In Memory Of”), and the selfishness of human nature (“Live to Kill”). While many bands attempt to explore similar issues, Silverstein are able to to do so while balancing an accessible sense of melody against their songs' more complex, less comfortable sense of meaning. For all its polish and sonic approachability, this is no sell-out record. Rescue may go down easy, but at the album's core, it's still an appealingly bitter pill. CONOR MYHRVOLD
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