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Sleeping With Sirens embraces the ‘Madness’ of pop punk

With+its+new+album+%E2%80%9CMadness%E2%80%9D+released+on+March+13%2C+Sleeping+With+Sirens+continues+to+step+away+from+its+roots%2C+yet+still+maintain+an+intriguing+sound+in+its+fourth+music+project.+%28Facebook%29
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Sleeping With Sirens embraces the ‘Madness’ of pop punk

With its new album “Madness” released on March 13, Sleeping With Sirens continues to step away from its roots, yet still maintain an intriguing sound in its fourth music project. (Facebook)

With its new album “Madness” released on March 13, Sleeping With Sirens continues to step away from its roots, yet still maintain an intriguing sound in its fourth music project. (Facebook)

With its new album “Madness” released on March 13, Sleeping With Sirens continues to step away from its roots, yet still maintain an intriguing sound in its fourth music project. (Facebook)

With its new album “Madness” released on March 13, Sleeping With Sirens continues to step away from its roots, yet still maintain an intriguing sound in its fourth music project. (Facebook)

Nicca Panggat, Contributing Writer

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With the release of a fourth album, post-hardcore giants Sleeping With Sirens took another step away from their roots and toward the catchy, crowd-pleasing sounds of pop punk and radio rock.

“Madness” consequently sounds like a mix of every possible related genre.

The first single “Kick Me” and the rallying ballad “We Like It Loud” are on the album’s heavier side with a wide range of vocals, crackling static and high-energy riffs.

“Kick Me” welcomes listeners in with the opening line, “Let’s hang the jury / you sick, judgmental fools / I’ll bury you six feet deep / so tired of your rules.”

It’s a song that pays homage to the Sleeping With Sirens of the past by simultaneously representing the lyrical style and melodies that old fans of the band may be looking for.

In contrast, “Go Go Go,” “Don’t Say Anything” and “Gold” are reminiscent of works from swooshy-haired pop punkers All Time Low.

Considering that Sleeping With Sirens worked with John Feldmann on “Madness,” the pop punk super-producer who’s worked with All Time Low in the past, it isn’t all that surprising.

But anyone looking for a follow-up to the band’s debut album “With Ears To See And Eyes To Hear” may be stuck between feeling estranged and confused with the changes.

The biggest advantage to “Madness” is the band’s knowledge and use of frontman Kellin Quinn’s unique countertenor. His crooning vocals set Sleeping With Sirens apart from the crowds of screamers and singers who try to slot themselves into the post-hardcore genre.

This is most evident in “The Strays,” which opens with Quinn singing about “hubcaps and ashtrays” and transitions right into the perfect melody to hook listeners into pressing the repeat button.

“We are The Strays,” Quinn belts slowly and without much buildup. “My whole life they said I’d be nothing / well I’m something.”

Past that, the lyrics “hold on, don’t look back / you know we’re better, we’re better than that,” also sound like a letter to anyone doubting the band’s turn in direction.

Where “Madness” falls flat is in its lack of cohesion. No one is saying that Sleeping With Sirens has to be entirely post-hardcore or entirely pop punk, but to switch so often on an album leaves listeners struggling to keep pace.

That missing link is the final push “Madness” needs to head into repeat territory. As it stands, things are a bit too disjointed to achieve the perfect flow from track-to-track.

Still, a majority of the songs are fun enough to find their way onto individual playlists. Most even feature similar hook-heavy writing and big vocals, like the undeniable stand-out track “Fly.”

Sleeping With Sirens took a lot of risks in making “Madness,” and gambled righteously with only a few slip-ups along the way. It would have been easy enough for them to crash and burn trying to bridge the gap between genres, but instead they managed to keep their head above water and possibly even swim closer to shore.

There’s no denying that the change is drastic. The next question: how fans will respond?

The new sound shows that the band absolutely refuses to be type cast. Sleeping With Sirens managed to shake the post-hardcore label fans gave them and fight it with the release of each successive album.

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