Lots has happened in the Sleeping With Sirens camp in the last few months. Just before announcing their place on the Slam Dunk 2018 line-up on Wednesday (15th November), out came a three-track Live and Acoustic from NYC EP at the end of October, which compliments September’s fifth studio full-length album release Gossip.
Is the EP any good? Sure, for the neutral listener it’s clear weather and for those more familiar with their style, it’s got many staples of what we’ve long come to expect from the Florida act’s acoustic side: fluid vocals propped up with solid guitar in great dovetail action, held together by unimposing percussive touches in the background. In fact, it gives some tracks from Gossip a second chance to shine having not received the reception that Sirens probably wanted from it’s fan base.
Live and Acoustic from NYC, consisting of stripped down versions of Legends, Gossip and One Man Army, certainly gives the band’s most recognisable asset – Kellin Quinn’s twisting vocals – licence to fly and therefore it does feel more authentic than their full band versions – but it does all just seem to be lacking the vigour that characterised Sirens at their inception and launched them into stardom.
Middle-track Gossip translates over the best, a bit more friction in the guitar work and just a bit more give on those vocals. Bookends Legends and One Man Army seem to blur together a little, both originally quite generic tracks in the first place and the acoustic renditions don’t do enough to shift that impression – but removing all the electronic debris from these tracks does make them more accessible. I’d have probably preferred an acoustic cameo of The Chase to feature from the 2017 record to inject a bit of life into this release though.
In it’s own right, it’s a decent listen but not one that lives long in the memory. When you compare it against the past acoustic releases – most notably 2012’s towering (mostly) acoustic EP If You Were A Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack – it pales in comparison. Perhaps it’s an unfair comparison, it’s still not the standard that older fans are used to: [5/10].
Check out the before…
… and after.