I haven't really been keeping up for the last several years, but there was a time in the early- to mid-2000's when Equal Vision Records was cranking out shitloads of top-notch emo/screamo/indie type stuff. For some reason I never wrote about Silent Drive's "Love is Worth It." back in 2004 when it was released, though. I think I bought it for like $3 in a used bin shortly after it was released—based solely on my high opinion of the label's output around that time—and I was already a huge fan by the time I got home. I actually never knew until I started researching this post that the band featured members of Bane and Drowningman, which came as a bit of a surprise. (Members had also been involved with the somewhat comparable Ink Cartridge Funeral—if anyone can hook me up with their CD that was released by Ellington Records in 2002, please let me know!)
Silent Drive released a demo in 2003, this album in 2004, and sadly I guess they just kind of faded away a few years later. I don't know what the hell you'd call this stuff, but I love it. It's too heavy to be "emo", too melodic and "singy" to be metal or hardcore, too eccentric and diverse to really gel with the whole post-hardcore niche, and calling something "alternative metal" just sounds kinda stupid, you know? But they were spanning a really bizarre range of influences here: Heavy, melodic, quirky, and still somehow catchy. You'll find chunky power chords and hard-hitting rhythms laced with just the right amount of dissonant ringing; awesomely crisp, dense, roving basslines; a few spurts of finger picked clean guitars; emphatic melodies; and frantic vocals that jump all over the place from beautiful singing to ripping screams to spoken passages—all the while dealing out loads of energetic and unusual vocal patterns. 4/16, especially, is a fuckin' great song—the perfect opener—it's so explosive and gets stuck in my head for days at a time (those damn vocal arrangements are so killer). But then you've got the more abrasive edge of "The Professional", or the soft crooning and sparse clean guitars that dominate "Davey Crockett"; while the peculiar "Broken Hearts Club" is centered around piano/orchestral keyboards with similarly soft singing that heads in an oddly "hooky" and more memorable direction.
As I've said many times before, it doesn't really matter what genre you try to place it in, it only matters that it's good. A fair number of bands from the Equal Vision roster of, say, 2002—2006 never really got the attention they deserved, but Silent Drive is easily the most underrated of them all as far as I'm concerned. I still listen to this album fairly regularly to this day. Hopefully some of you will dig it, too.
Since this one's not all that old just yet, it's still really easy to find all over the place. There are lots of ridiculously cheap used copies at Amazon.com, too.