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Over the past few years as I've grown up a little more, I've found that my taste in music has changed quite dramatically. I used to love screamo, rock and metal (as well as rap and pop), whereas now I prefer nice relaxed indie songs. I recently decided to delete some of the older albums on my iPod that I no longer listen to, and that's when I came across With Ears to See and Eyes to Hear by Sleeping with Sirens.
I had completely forgotten that I had this album and I actually decided to keep it, mainly for old times sake because back when I was a 17 year old scene kid this album was one of mine and my friends' favourites! When I listen to it now it definitely doesn't have the same appeal as it did back then but some of the songs on the album are pretty catchy and I can still listen to it without feeling like my ears are going to bleed.
SLEEPING WITH SIRENS
Sleeping With Sirens is an American post-hardcore band which formed back in 2009. There are currently 4 band members, however all in all over the years there has been 11 bands members. The current members are Kellin Quinn, Jack Fowler, Gabe Barham and Justin Hills. Kellin Quinn is the lead vocalist and he is what makes the band what it is. His voice is really angelic and sweet, he is kind of like your typical pop star who has been thrown in to a screamo band which makes the band really unique and different to the other screamo bands around. The band have got three albums out and the album which I am reviewing is their debut album.
WITH EARS TO SEE AND EYES TO HEAR
This is Sleeping with Sirens' debut album and they have since releases two other albums. This album was recorded in 2009 and it was released in early 2010. The album is 33 minutes long and it has got ten full-length songs on it. The album is available on iTunes and it can also be purchased in cd format. I purchased my digital copy of the album not long after it was released and I paid around £10, and the current price is £4.99 which I think is good value for ten songs.
Track 1: If I'm James Dean, You're Audrey Hepburn
The screamo in this song is quite minimal compared to some of the others, and the song is a love song. The song is basically about Kellin's fascination with an unnamed girl and he's telling her that he fell in love with the moment they first kissed, he dreams about her etc and how he feels like to be okay, he needs her in his life. The chorus is very repetitive and the song does drag quite a bit, but it's a good song in my opinion; loads of emotion and very catchy, and it's a good opening to the album as well as it bursts into instrumentals and vocals as soon as it starts.
Track 2: The Bomb Dot Com v2.0
This song is a really sweet one, where Kellin is saying he will reassure this person despite what happens, and it's about not knowing what to do and trying to make the best of a situation (in my opinion) and generally having a hard time in life. The song doesn't have a huge amount of screamo in it and the screamo is mainly at the beginning but there's some quite severe screamo towards the end so make sure you don't listen to this on high volume or it will probably damage your ears!! My favourite line is 'When everything is beautiful, when everything's okay, even if it's not okay, I'll say it's all for you'.
Track 3: You Kill Me (In A Good Way)
I really love this song. Kellin's voice is beautiful, and it reminds me how good of a singer he is. The song is really meaningful as well about feeling like you're losing everything and the song is really powerful. Towards the end of the song there is some screamo, but Kellin's vocals over power the screamo which makes it listenable. The song towards the end gets a little bit repetitive, but I still like the song and the message behind it is one which makes me feel better about my self.
Track 4: Let Love Bleed Red
There is no screaming or heavy instrumentals in this song so the song sounds a lot different to most of the other songs on the album. It has a much more gentle sound to it with really upbeat, gentle instrumentals. Kellin sounds a lot more relaxed in this song and he sounds like a pop star rather than a singer in a screamo band. The song features Aaron Marsh, who is a singer song writer. Kellin and Aaron duet at one point and the song is lovely, it is very much a love song and it is my favourite on the album.
Track 5: Captain Tyin Knots vs Mr Walkway (No Way)
The beginning of this song is screamo, but then kellin starts singing. His voice sounds a lot more vicious in this song but then his sweeter side shows, a bit like Jekyll and Hyde. The screamo is pretty persistent in this song so it is one that I don't like that much, and there's a lack of any meaningful lyrics as well. I also don't like that the vocals are so fast paced that it's hard to keep track of what is being said.
Track 6: Don't Fall Asleep At The Helm
This song kicks off with a radio interference type sound which is quite creepy, It is a pretty dark and depressing song and the distorted sound effects arent to my taste. Kellin's vocals are good (as usual) but I think the distorded sound effects are used a bit too much which ruins the overall sound. The chorus ('all that I know is gone, fall deeper and deeper the sirens are singing their songs) is a bit repetitive, and this song isn't really one that I listen too much because it's not very exciting to listen to really but on the plus side there is no screamo in this song.
Track 7: With Ears To See and Eyes To Hear
This song makes me giggle in parts because Kellin literally sounds possessed in the screamo bits! The song is quite an aggressive one, but kellin's pop star side makes a show a couple of times but then it builds up again into screamo so there's a real mix of vocals in this. The line 'I think your mouth needs to be quiet, because it never tells the truth' is my favourite line in the long and the song is basically about someone who Kellin can't trust and he's sick of them being the way they are and he's upset about something that this person did. I like this song because it really shows Kellin's vocal range and I like the inclusion of the bass guitar. The roaring type vocals at the end finish the song off nicely. There is an acoustic version of this song which is amazing, and it's a shame the acoustic version wasn't included on the album because it's lovely, there's no screaming in the acoustic version and Kellin sounds like a proper little pop star.
Track 8: In Case Of Emergency Dial 411
Kellin sounds gorgeous in this song, his voice has a real gentleness to it which contrasts with the heavy bass guitar. The song is a real sweet one and he's telling this person they can trust him, and that he wants to save them. The song is one of my favourites, and I love the 'I can save you, if you ask me, just ask me to' line. The screamo in the song kind of ruins it and I'd prefer the song to carry on being ice and soft but I guess that given the nature of the band and the rest of the sings screamo is expected, although I don't like it because it's really aggressive in this one but luckily there isn't too much of it.
Track 9: The Left Side Of Everywhere
This is a song that I always skip because the vocals are too fast for me to catch what is being said and it has a generic sound to it which makes it just merge in with the other songs and there isn't really anything that I like about this song.
Track 10: YouTube Dance Party
Despite what the title suggests, this isn't a party song at all. The song hasnt actually got any lyrics or vocals, it is just instrumentals including a piano and guitar. It is stunning to listen to and it finishes the album off really nicely.
ALL IN ALL
I am surprised by how much I still like this album three years on, and I don't know why I stopped listening to it to be honest! There are a few songs on here that I skip straight away and don't listen to, mainly the ones with heavy screamo. Because Kellin's vocals are very versatile though there are some lovely songs on here with no screamo at all and these ones are my favourites. The screamo on this album isn't as hardcore as many other screamo bands so if you are a screamo fan you will definitely find this band and the songs on their album very weak. I recommend the album and I'm going to give it three out of five stars.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 If I'm James Dean You're Audrey Hepburn
2 The Bomb Dot Com V2.0
3 You Kill Me (In a Good Way)
4 Let Love Bleed Red
5 Captain Tyin' Knots Vs Mr Walkway (No Way)
6 Don't Fall Asleep at the Helm
7 With Ears to See and Eyes to Hear
8 In Case of Emergency Dial 411
9 The Left Side of Everywhere
10 Dance Party