In 2001 and 2002, the Philadelphia rock scene had many of the things that rock scenes in other cities had -- confessional emocore bands, angst-ridden rap-metallers, post-grunge Creed disciples, and introspective singer/songwriters. There were also bands playing '70s and '80s rock, but in many cases, they were cover bands whose members were 30 and over. So imagine how surprised Philadelphians were when several local youths in their teens and early twenties came along with a sound that was firmly planted in rock's baby boomer era. All five members of Silvertide (formerly Vertigo) were in their teens when, in 2002, they recorded their debut EP, American Excess, for J Records, but they sound like they're totally oblivious to the tastes of their peers. There are no traces of alternative rock or hip-hop on this disc; Silvertide doesn't sound anything like Limp Bizkit or Korn any more than they sound like Pearl Jam, Creed, or Default. Instead, the songs on this EP are unapologetically retro, and Silvertide specializes in the sort of gritty, dirty, bluesy, riff-oriented hard rock that was huge in the '70s and '80s. Their obvious influences include Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Black Crowes, and Guns N' Roses -- in other words, boomer bands whose members or ex-members are old enough to be their parents (or even their grandparents). And the Philly residents are impressively good at what they do; Silvertide originals like "Beware" and "Mary Jane" aren't the least bit groundbreaking, but they're inspired, passionate, and heartfelt. If American Excess is an example of musical recycling, it's a very enjoyable example. Fans of classic hard rock will find a lot to admire about this solid and promising, if derivative, debut. ~ Alex Henderson
CMJ (11/25/02, p.27) - "...This four-song EP deftly explores some post-hardcore dynamics....It's aggressive, yet anything but meatheaded..."