Review Summary: Sirs provides a surprisingly upbeat take on Midwestern “emo.”
Summery screamo seems like a bit of an oxymoron – tortured shrieking doesn’t quite match the feeling of freedom and relaxation of those warmest months. Sirs, however, seemed to have perfected that sound on their split with Chalk Talk, Bvvvvvvv
– or at least they created it. In their 2010 EP Vas Deferens
, the band’s sound was much the same, being lighthearted emo with more substance than their twinkly Midwestern peers.
Sirs’ simple rhythms, jangly, catchy riffs and occasional noodling propel the EP for its first three songs. The vocalist’s frenetic yell meshes well with the band’s rollicking groove, and he is supplemented by gang vocals on “Starting at the Chin” and “Is This Your Shirt.” Sirs’ spastic energy rarely lets up, and comprises the majority of the EP’s short runtime. The frenzy eases at the end of “Is This Your Shirt,” providing a segue into the slow-burning “Hibernations Sometimes,” which culminates in a resounding shout of “*** you!” before the band takes off again. In fact, Sirs seems to operate on two speeds: balls-out and the more laidback plod of the longer tracks, “Hibernations Sometimes” and “Hand Check, No Hands.”
The guitars tend to take the stage, providing lively riffs and a few twinkly leads. They’re also at the forefront of the production. The vocals are distant in the mix, but this doesn’t really hinder the EP. The bass is audible and bounces along with the guitar. The drumming propels the band along, and there are plenty of fills and time changes. Each of the members does his part, and while the instrumentation is fairly complex, the overall sound is simple and easy to swallow.
There isn’t a lot of variance along Vas Deferens
’ 17-minute length, but it is extremely listenable and pretty catchy, too. The band has a lot of room to grow and they will definitely benefit from better production. If Bvvvvvvv
is any indication, these guys are definitely improving and crafting their unique brand of upbeat, and summery, screamo.