Review Summary: Sleeping With Sirens does a great job incorporating their songs into acoustic form. I really like this EP and some of these songs are outstanding. This EP just flowed really well and felt natural making very enjoyable.2 of 4 thought this review was well written
It always brings me a smile when hardcore bands to justice to acoustic music. Sleeping With Sirens does that exactly with their new EP release, If You Were a Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack.
Vocals: Kellin Quinn is a very renown vocalist in the hardcore scene. And I'm starting to see why, with each new release he gets better and better. Though he isn't perfect, they're are things that bug me about his singing. Though is is improving with each new release I tend to still hear some of the problems. For an example, the guy doesn't sing with any vibrato and that sort of makes his singing dull at times. Also he lacks a little bit soul in his singing and after listening to him for a while it starts to get stale and repetitive. Many know him for the upper range singing he does, some cringe at it and some go wild (I'm talking to you ladies). Though in this EP he strays away from the upper ranged singing and sticks to the safe side with falsetto which I think is good, mainly because he hasn't really mastered singing from his diaphragm so that makes his high notes sound strained and hard to pull off live. Overall I thought he did very well in this EP, just some minor things as I explained above he could work on.
Guitar: I'm going to assume that Jesse Lawson is doing the guitar on this EP. And if he did then hes done a good job, throughout the EP I thought the guitars were very catchy and pleasant to the ear and also provided really beautiful chords. A few solos could have been added for some extra depth to the songs though. But overall the guitars were great and really complemented Kellin throughout the EP. Other than that I don't have much complaints for the guitars.
Bass: Though the bass doesn't stand out much in this EP there was one song that really gave bass a highlight and it's Roger Rabbit. Justin Hill's bass playing isn't as stale as other bassists and I can really appreciate that as a bassist myself. The second verse of Roger Rabbit has a really sexy bass line and gives that song some more color. I wish I could say that for all the songs but sadly I can't, it doesn't bother me much though because he still does his job right by giving the songs that foundation they need.
Percussion: The percussion on this EP is a variety of different instruments, including shakers, claps, tambourine, and bass drum. Gabe Barham does a good job of making the songs feel whole with those instruments. Especially in James Dean when the chorus kicks in. At first I thought the entire song would be just Kellin and Jesse but when the percussion kicks in it gave me a pleasant surprise. The EP has no snare drum and that's fine with me, because the shaker and bass drum keeps that constant beat going with the songs and really makes them feel whole.
James Dean & Audrey Hepburn 4/5: This is my second favorite song on this EP. I was really surprised how they turned a hardcore song into a soothing acoustic. Everything in this song flows so well, especially the guitar. And I really loved the chords that were played through this song, and when the chorus kicks in and the percussion comes in it really makes the song feel whole.
Roger Rabbit 3/5: I honestly didn't like this song too much, with the computerized beats in the beginning it just sounds too poppy for me. Some might like poppy but I don't, but that changes quickly the chorus is the best part of this song along with Justin's bass playing on the second verse. I liked how the chorus has that orchestral effect to it, I felt like it made the song.
Stomach Tied In Knots 3.5/5: This song starts of weak but progresses very well. And the chorus is good though with Kellin's harmonies and the back round ooo's on the second verse it made the song for me. Though it was kind of soiled when those gang vocals came in, at least they didn't last too long though.
Don't You Ever Forget About Me 5/5: This was my favorite song on this EP. When a song starts and I instantly start bobbing my head to the rhythm I know it's something special. This song greets you with a beautiful guitar chord and that shaker doing its thing. Also I thought that Kellins singing was great in this song. I also loved the build up to the chorus and the verses were great too. And when the female singer comes in (I don't know her name), It only made the song better. She has a very nice voice and when they start singing together in harmonies it just makes the song amazing. And I do love the part when they sing, "Can't stop thinking about me!" and she hits that high D harmony, that really impressed me. Overall this song is great.
With Ears To See and Eyes To Hear 3/5: This was my least favorite song on the EP. I just didn't enjoy Kellin's singing and the guitar on the verses. Though the chorus is refreshing it saves the song from being bad. I just felt like Kellin's singing wasn't as good as it was on the other songs. But don't get me wrong it's still a good song and it has a good chorus which is the most important part I think, and it also flowed very well. I just thought it was one of the weaker songs.
Overall Opinion: I'm giving this EP a 4/5 it's excellent I think. I just couldn't give it any lower because the songs flowed so well and the songs were just very catchy. Not to mention you could really feel the emotion in some of the songs. Hell, I would have rated it even higher if every song was as good as Don't You Ever Forget About Me.
James Dean & Audrey Hepburn
Don't You Ever Forget About Me