Sound: Sleeping With Sirens surely made a splash with their first album, "With Ears To See And Eyes To Hear". Love it or hate it, there's no denying that work was a prime example of post-hardcore musicianship. Since that album, SWS have been through a TON of changes, which surprisingly, were for the better.
The band has opted for less of a straight forward Post-hardcore sound to play around with pop punk and, at times, straight up rock music. Songs like "Who Are You Now" or "Tally It Up, Settle The Score" have such solid rock verses that you wouldn't believe this is a Rise band. The song "If You Can't Hang" is so infectious in its delivery it should be a Billboard topping rock smash, and "Four Corners And Two Sides" offers a unique blend of the poppy with the hardcore. All in all, this album is a far more diverse soundscape, and while the blazing leadwork plays second fiddle to a more traditional chord based approach this time, the songs still stand out and stay in your head long after the CD stops. // 8
Lyrics: Yet again, Kellin doesn't fail to impress. While not relying on the castrado-esque approach that WETS did, his vocals are still a true standout aspect of the music. His voice stays in a slightly lower range this time around, focusing more on getting that hook in your head rather than busting your ear drums.
His vocals are best shown off in the songs "If You Can't Hang" and "A Trophy Father's Trophy Son", where he efortlessly balances delivering passionate lyrics with insanely catchy hooks. At times, he even has a Claudio Sanchez-esque swoon about his delivery ("Do It Now, Remember It Later"). Kellin is truly a magnificant singer, and this disk captures him in his absolute prime.
Lyrically, this disk is also a standout. Capturing everything from abandonment issues ("I've been missing you so bad and you don't seem to care/ When I go to sleep at night you aren't even there" - "A Trophy Father's Trophy Son"), the deterioration of loved ones ("You're losing your light. Everything that was yours just does not exist/So don't even try to say sorry for the things in life you might have missed" - "Fire"), and chasing the musical dream ("Remember when they said that what we want can never be done?/ When it all comes falling down we'll do what we want to" - "Do It Now, Remember It Later"). Kellin's writing comes off as both personal and relatable, a powerful element that makes these catchy songs even better. // 10
Overall Impression: With "Let's Cheers To This", Sleeping With Sirens haven't sold out: they've experimented with their sound and found themselves as a band. It could be best explained as a total improvement on their last release (which was good too, don't get me wrong). The hooks are more catchy, the vocals are more driven, the guitars are more prominent in the final sound, and the electronic bits from their last album are almost completely gone, making this one more appealing for traditional rock fans. This is, so far, my 2011 Album of the Year, hands down.
For fans of: Circa Survive, The Maine, A Skylit Drive. // 9