For many of the younger generation, Floridians Sleeping With Sirens were and indeed continue to undoubtedly be an introduction to the alternative music scene. With their first two full-length albums ‘With Ears To See And Eyes To Hear’ and ‘Let’s Cheers To This’ hosting hit singles ‘If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn’ and ‘You Can’t Hang…’ respectively, they managed to lift them up from the successes of the underground and into the limelight.
While many bands in recent years have gravitated towards a more pop-orientated direction as their success began to swell, namely the likes of Fall Out Boy and Set It Off, in some cases it works wonders and acts as a refreshing defined direction. However, with Sleeping With Sirens‘ fifth album, ‘Gossip’, this unfortunately isn’t the case. While it’s not necessarily a bad collection of songs, in fact quite a few tracks work well as stand alone cuts, as an album it leaves a lot to be desired.
‘Empire To Ashes’ shows some homage to their post-hardcore roots, acting as a well-done transition between the darker sound that they began their career with and the poppy direction that they’re clearly heading towards. With some driving guitars and a punchy chorus, it’s the rockiest track on the album. ‘Legends’, while lyrically is admittedly incredibly cheesy, bares a strong resemblance to Fall Out Boy‘s anthem ‘Centuries’, and the sing-a-long chorus is bound to go over well in a live environment.
‘Closer’ is one of the most fluid moments on the entire record, and sees vocalist Kellin Quinn show off his melodic chops during the smooth chorus, while a simple drum beat fills out the space left by the lack of guitars nicely.
While there are indeed some strong tracks and highlights throughout ‘Gossip’, they all end up being filtered out and overlooked by the amount of repetitiveness that’s infused into the rest of the release. The title-track itself fails to strike the mark as an impactful opener, while ‘Trouble’, ‘Cheers’, and ‘The Chase’ present a serious lack of dynamics and some lacklustre lyricism.
Overall, ‘Gossip’ doesn’t deliver as a consistently strong album, with a clean-cut formula that gets old before we even reach the halfway point. It’s a typical thing to see bands commenting on the maturity of their sound with each album, but in the case of Sleeping With Sirens, if anything, ‘Gossip’ really feels like a step backwards.
Written by Phoebe Constable (@phoebecnstable)
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.