Sleeping With Sirens Return With 'Madness'
Returning to the scene with their anticipated 2015 album, the five piece from Florida are back for more. Call it Madness, if you will.
With a trio of albums in the bag already, ‘Madness’ proves to be different to it’s predecessor, ‘Feel' and the band seem to have reinvented their sound since the first two studio albums. The question is, is it for the better?
With the album debuting at number 13 on the BIllboard Top 200, opening track "Kick me" is a great start and very much the kind of song you’d expect from Sleeping with Sirens. Punchy and supercharged, with that crazy post-hardcore edge you’d get from a The Used track. Then, however, the album breaks format. There's still an energy to it that’s prescribed to Sirens, but tamed. It’s definitely more of a sit-down-and-sing-a-long album than ‘With Ears to See and Eyes to Hear’ and ‘Let’s Cheers to This’, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but long time fans may feel slightly let down by the band’s softer sound.
In saying that, the lyrics tell stories - connecting with listeners on an emotional level, without getting too soppy. "The Strays" is a perfect example - an acoustic offering; the feel good factor only pumped up by the positive message. Similarly, songs like "Heroine", "November" and the title track, "Madness" may draw inspiration from a variety of musical influences, but somehow the band still manages to make it their own. A personal favourite, "We Like it Loud", is a get-up-and-move track that you really do want to crank the volume to.
Regardless of the changes in their musicality, front-man Kellin Quinn still delivers vocally, even though the screaming seems to have been left behind on ‘Let’s Cheers to This”. Quinn is a capable singer, with an amazing vocal range and if that’s what you fell in love with, you will not be let down.
Madness may put long time fans on the fence. Although it’s not as chock-full of dirty riffs and amped up choruses, it’s still a good album, with good songs that are catchy as hell and yeah, when the final seconds of "Don’t Say Anything" play out, you do feel inspired. Truth is, the band may not sound the same, but they’ve grown and man, you’ve got to appreciate the changes that came with it.
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Words by Renette van der Merwe