I am probably the last guy you want reviewing this record. I’m almost forty years old, grew up on classic and progressive rock, obsessed over thrash metal and later cut my teeth playing in metal and hardcore influenced bands in New York City as an adult. But on the other hand I am a well rounded music fan and a big-time sucker for catchy pop songs in any style. Lucky for you fans of NRP I took a blood oath to do my best on these reviews and dammit that is what I am gonna do. I believe in trying to find the merit in music for people who might be fans, even of the genres I may not be into on the chance that I can help someone. So let’s have at it!
Having never heard of SLEEPING WITH SIRENS (extra points for cool name) I listened to the first tracks off the album while I did some research on who they were. At first I was like “Whoa! This chick has a beautiful voice!”. But it turns out lead singer Kellin Quinn is in fact a dude. A dude with epic pipes! He does have the pitch and tone of a teenage girl, I’m not even gonna lie. But on the plus side his choice of melodies and range are fantastic. I’d say quite comparable with Haley Williams of PARAMORE or whatever else the kids are listening to these days. Songs like “Do It Now Remember It Later” and “If You Can’t Hang” just ooze syrupy pop rock and punk with a hint of occasional metal underpinning sometimes. I can easily visualize entire clubs of scene kids with terrible emo hair swearing this is the best band, like evvvvv-eeeeer! Or more maturely put, music for the Justin Bieber set when they grow up in a few years. Do you see and death, crust or kvlt bands selling with his numbers? Right. You don’t. The band does have an aggro side and flexes it on occasion. Songs like “Four Corners and Two Sides” keep the melodic element intact, but have lots of screamo screaming, breakdowns and clackity-clack sounding triggered drums for the mosh dudes, if any happen to show up. “Tally It Up, Settle The Score” is the other rager on the album. These guys are quite good at what they do so really it’s hard to hate on them. Other good tracks on the album are “Fire” and “All My Heart” which are radio ready, future hits. After hearing them I will now go check them out on the All-Star Tour this summer. Since I feel all warm and fuzzy and stuff I’m gonna go find a unicorn to strangle to death to get over it.