March 23, 2010 - Rise
We suppose it was only a matter of time before screamo completely crossed over into mainstream pop territory. First it was Auto-Tune poking its wretched prods into the so-called underground; then it was the overabundance of cheap studio trickery. Now, some might consider this screamo judgment day, while select others could be celebrating the long-fought victory of screamo meets tween-pop.
In the case of Florida's Sleeping With Sirens, we're wholeheartedly in the former camp, because this album is just wretched. With Ears To See And Eyes To Hear is a nonstop assault of mainstream influences into an emo/metalcore sound that, ultimately, sounds best dirty and raw--not this trite, juvenile, wimpy ear-candy.
The depressing part about this is the band members themselves are more than adept; good players with strong licks, and a snare-tight rhythm section. But it's ruined by a glossy sheen that won't come off, even with a scalding shower and a piece of steel wool. Singer Kellin Quinn's incessant whining--like Rush's Geddy Lee meets Justin Bieber--overpowers anything else. This guy either needs to get his balls out of the vice, or go ahead and grow an entirely new pair. And the ultra-puffy ballad, "Let Love Bleed Red," has to be a joke, right?