For Fans Of
The average rock-journo likes to make claims that bands get heavier, poppier or catchier with every subsequent release. Putting our discerning and calculated approach to best use, ‘Madness‘, from post-hardcore heartthrobs Sleeping With Sirens, is simply bigger. Yep, that about sums it up.
From the piercing intro of ‘Kick Me’ that announces the band’s return to the closing chorus of ‘Don’t Say Anything’, ‘Madness’ is fucking huge. Song after song, even the acoustic centre title tracks, has the ability to fill any room that this band put themselves in. It doesn’t matter how short, heavy, catchy or soft these tracks are, the structure and progressions are so fine-tuned that the only way they could get any bigger is to hear them in a room full of screaming people. Whether that be a small sweaty club or a ten-thousand seat-arena, they’ve got you covered.
‘We Like It Loud‘ is for starters, well, loud! The most fearsome track on the record, it clocks in at just over two minutes, which gives you no time for a break or a rest; it’s go, go, go! Speaking of… tracks like ‘Go Go Go‘ and ‘Heroine‘ build off the sound Sleeping With Sirens established on ‘Feel’ nearly two years ago and improve upon it it. The choruses are catchier, the riffs are slicker and the structure keeps things feeling fresh and alive every listen.
But we couldn’t do this review without mentioning the best song this band has ever written (and probably will ever write). ‘The Strays’ is THE song. What begins as an uplifting acoustic number turns into a stadium rock fanfare for the iconoclast. Yeah, yeah the subject matter is done to death and even so on this very record. But you won’t even give two shits what Kellin Quinn’s singing (unless it was about lynching…) when you’re belting it’s chorus as loud as your lungs can take.
It’s interesting to note that this record feels far more mature than ‘Feel’. Which is strange seeing as that’s what most people said about ‘Feel’. Can bands mature so much in so little album numbers? Clearly they can! ‘Madness’ feels far more refined in terms of song-writing ability and execution than any of this band’s previous records ever did. Sleeping with Sirens understand where they want to be with their art and know exactly how to get there. For such a well-put together and flowing record, the title “Madness” feels almost ironic.
For every kid out there that wants the band to just throw the fuck down and play sweaty club shows, there’s just as many that want Sleeping With Sirens to be plugged on mainstream radio and by the conjuncture of styles here, both are equally possible and probably going to happen. ‘Madness’ presents itself as an album that isn’t trying to get new fans to join the flock or a record made to please the current sheep; but an album that seamlessly does both through huge anthems and absolute bangers.