Sound — 8
Say what you will about the post-hardcore scene and how watered down it is, but Sleeping With Sirens are proof that not all hope is lost within the genre. Their spin on post-hardcore is one that, musically, is overwhelming on the senses. Guitars flutter with almsot constant leads, keyboards are added tastefully, and the drums are almost excentric, with fluttery fills coming one after another. "The Bomb Dot Com V2.0" is a great example of what makes SWS the band they are. Starting with an almost poppy breakdown feel, transcending into an irresitably catchy chorus, and some blazing fretwork, then going into another verse groove. Their music is so varried in delivery it kept my attention throughout the entire listen.
Lyrics — 10
I don't like giving 10's much anymore, but Kellin deserves a TON of respect for his vocal delivery. His range is absolutely insane, hitting harsh highs and low screams alternately and with great finesse. I know of no male vocalists (aside from Circa Survive's Anthony Green) that could carry that kind of a range, and do it exceedingly well. Lyrics are pretty straight-forward, personal works. "If I'm James Dean, Then You're Audrey Hepburn" opens with the lines "Stay for the night, if you want to I coud show you what my dreams are made of... as I'm dreaming of your face." The majority of the content is the kind of straight-forward, heart-on-my-sleeve type of lines that are easy to put yourself and your life experiences behind. And with a quality like that, you don't neccisarily have to have lyrics comparable to English poetry.
Overall Impression — 8
The biggest surprise on this release is a beautiful ballad called "Let Love Bleed Red". It starts simply, with just acoustic guitars and vocals, recalling a love in the teller's life. This explodes into a lush soundscape involving the entire band, which makes for a thrilling listen. Sleeping With Sirens are quickly defining themselves in a muddied up genre as more than just a cookie-cutter band. With a little more work and exposure, they could quite possibly be the biggest thing post-hardcore has given us since Circa Survive or Saosin. For fans of: Circa Survive, Dance Gavin Dance, Anberlin.