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Album Review // SLEEPING WITH SIRENS ‘How It Feels To Be Lost’

The newest chapter from Sleeping With Sirens sees them returning to their roots, and doing what made them successful with a refreshed vigour and fervour.

SWS Album 2019

Sleeping With Sirens are a band that needs no introduction; even the mere mention of their name is enough to ring a bell for most people, throwing them into a nostalgic memory of blasting the likes of If You Can’t Hang and If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn out loud during their teenage years. As with most bands that have been around for so long, it follows that their sound has evolved over the years but here’s where Sleeping With Sirens split off from the norm; instead of straying further from their early sound, How It Feels To Be Lost is a resounding return to the band’s earlier, heavier sound.

Right from the get-go, it’s clear that Sleeping With Sirens have focused more on their sonic roots, with the heavy, low-tuned riffs on opener Leave It All Behind slamming into you with a renewed sense of energy. And if that wasn’t indicative enough, vocalist Kellin Quinn wastes no time in shifting into impassioned screams, contrasting against his signature high vocals. This is a record that’s honest, passionate, and fired up, and all of these feelings are set out right from the start. Never Enough is one to get you singing along with its rousing ‘heys’, whilst invigorated guitars and battering drums charge on underneath. With cutting lyrics like ‘I don’t fuck with anyone / I can’t be fake like everyone’, there’s an empowering feeling to be found in the acerbic attitude of the track.

Contrasting against the brazen confidence that was summoned in Never Enough, there’s a more melancholic and desperate tone to be found in following How It Feels To Be Lost. Burdened with an emotional weight, hints of self-destructive thoughts can be found in the candid lyricism that doesn’t sugar-coat the hard-hitting reality of these intruding ideas. With a more melodic accompaniment in the verses, Kellin poses question after question to reflect the suffocating nature of these thoughts, and although there’s a feeling of uncertainty by virtue of this, it’s an uncertainty that many have experienced which brings a sense of understanding and catharsis for the listener.

Agree To Disagree channels blistering riffs to create an infectious rock sound, and the massive chorus is sure to make a loud sing-along in a live setting. Blood Lines sheds light upon a more personal part of Kellin’s life, and as bass heavy instrumentals come without warning in the chorus, it brings a crushing feeling which is enhanced by lyrics such as ‘I’m just another bastard son’. Despite the dark and brooding themes, there’s a glimmer of optimism to be found as Kellin encourages the listener, ‘you can’t change what you were born into, don’t let it bury you’.

The battering drums on Break Me Down leads the charge as the band wander further into their earlier sound with full-throttled screams and scathing lyrics that would not sound out of place amongst the band’s early catalogue. The initial tenderness on P.S. Missing You in the tinkering keys quickly give way to a stirring melody in fervent guitars, whilst Medicine (Devil In My Head) channels a more dissonant vibe with plunging chords and industrial-sounding electronics.

Despite the album being titled How It Feels To Be Lost, this is an album that is sure to leave many feeling like they’ve finally found their way home. It’s heavy rock music that comes straight from the heart, a combination that has proven successful in the band’s past and is sure to bring them even more success as they push the bar even higher with this album.