Sleeping With Sirens – Live & Acoustic from NYC – Review

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.

Sleeping With Sirens – Gossip

Set for release tomorrow (Friday 22nd September), Gossip is the fifth album from Florida’s Sleeping With Sirens. The opening track takes its name from the album title, and sounds much more poppy than fans are used to. The pop punk aspect of Sleeping With Sirens that listeners are used to comes in at Empire to Ashes, however the overriding sound feels more mainstream pop to the listener, particularly during the verses. This follows to Legends, which also incorporates some mild dance themes.

Use of syncopation in Trouble makes the listener want to dance, however the overuse of effects, particularly on the vocals, detract from the overall sound of the track. Sleeping With Sirens do not need to overuse effects, however in places during Gossip there is definitely too much production. This seems to die down in the latter half of the album.

Sleeping With Sirens have moved away from the pop punk, post-hardcore music for which they are most well known. Tracks such as One Man Army and Gossip are a far cry from If I’m James Dean, Then You’re Audrey Hepburn. Indie themes come into play at Cheers, and this is the catchiest track on the album. Cheers was the second single to be released from Gossip, the first being Legends.

Closer reminds the listener of old Yellowcard and Mayday Parade, from the simplicity of the chord structure and the summery lyrics. This theme flows into Hole In My Heart, while introducing the heavier guitars which fans will be used to. Juxtaposing this however is I Need To Know, which begins with clean electric guitar chords, which was also used in Grayscale‘s cover of Love Yourself. However the clean guitar melts into drums and piano, before an acoustic guitar makes an appearance. Immediately after heavier guitars come into play again in The Chase, taking the pop punk genre again.

War is the final track on the album, giving the feel of marching from the drums and guitar. The track is not similar to any other on Gossip, and stands out for this reason. It’s a much deeper song than Sleeping With Sirens have attempted before and it works really well, both musically and lyrically.

Overall, Gossip shows that Sleeping With Sirens have attempted something more mainstream, but have lost some of their authenticity in the process. The best tracks on the album are easily Cheers and War, as they sound the most original and the least processed.

[6/10]

Sleeping With Sirens Drop New Track

With their upcoming album Gossip well on the way to it’s September release date (22nd if you’re interested), Sleeping With Sirens have released a new single titled Empire To Ashes. Punchy, with a bouncy chorus this track is pure SWS, arguably with more pop influence than their older material but unmistakably them. Check out Empire To Ashes below:

Of Gossip frontman Kellin Quinn had the following to say:

“We finally captured the live experience with Bendeth. We have the production, but there’s a rawness that comes through. Musically, I feel like it’s the first Sirens record that sounds specifically like us. We took chances, experimented, and continued to do what we do best: create art. It’s something new. It has an authentic sound that we’ve been working towards all this time.”

Catch the band on their upcoming support slots for the Rise Against tour:

Sleeping With Sirens Announce New Album

Sleeping With Sirens have released some details regarding their upcoming fifth studio album; Gossip. Due out on the 22nd September via Warner Bros. Records and produced by David Bendeth, the 11 track album is available to pre-order now, digital at usual sites and physicals at this link. Check out their newest single Legends below, which is also the official song of Team USA for Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

“We finally captured the live experience with Bendeth, we have the production, but there’s a rawness that comes through. Musically, I feel like it’s the first Sirens record that sounds specifically like us. We took chances, experimented, and continued to do what we do best: create art. It’s something new. It has an authentic sound that we’ve been working towards all this time.” – Kellin Quinn, vocals

Gossip Tracklisting
Gossip
Empire To Ashes
Legends
Trouble
One Man Army
Cheers
Closer
Hole In My Heart
I Need To Know
The Chase
War

First wave of bands for Download Festival announced!

The first wave of bands have been announced for 2017’s Download Festival! Amongst the running are headliners System Of A Down (Friday), Biffy Clyro (Saturday) and Aerosmith (Sunday). Amongst all this you have thrash icons Slayer, hardcore titans in Every Time I Die, heavy metal bashers Five Finger Death Punch and metalcore juggernauts Of Mice & Men amongst many others. Check out the full list below!

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