Sleeping With Sirens – Complete Collapse
Released: October 14, 2022
Kellin Quinn // Vocals & Keys
Justin Hills // Bass Guitar
Nick Martin // Rhythm Guitar
Matty Best // Drums
Everyone’s favourite emo band has returned with album number seven and I am so stoked to be bringing you my first album review with Wall Of Sound for these legends on Complete Collapse. The record contains some of the strongest Sleeping With Sirens tracks I have ever heard. It starts off VERY strong, but I felt a little lost around the middle with a few songs in a row, all containing a feature, in the same arrangement. However, as soon as I realised that, boom! Everything is shaken up for a very strong ending.
Now, for anyone who knows me. I write my album reviews like a ‘reaction video’ This is my RAW and unedited notes on my first listen of the album back to front. LET’S GO!
From the get-go, this is the most I have ever loved a song from this band on first listen. Now that’s not me saying I don’t love plenty of other SWS tracks, it’s that this is STRONG. With the sound of sirens (pun intended). Sirens fans are getting everything they want from this track. Synth-core at its best with Kellin Quinn’s angelically high-pitch vocals and a breakdown to top it all off? Well played. Strong start.
A change of pace to a boppy pop-rock style track. This catchy but more relaxed tune really takes it down a notch from where we started with ‘Tyrants‘. This drastic switch this early in makes me think we are going on a roller coaster together but baby I am strapped in. LFG!
‘Crosses (ft. Spencer Chamberlain)’
This is definitely a bit more of a classic Sirens track and unlike some “features” we get our hopes up only to hear a line or two, Spencer Chamberlain is ALL over this track and fans of both bands will be stoked with that. There is a NEXT LEVEL BREAK DOWN with layered screams between Kellin and Spencer that will absolutely need to be recreated live one day!
I really thought we were entering ballad territory this early into the record but it snaps into gear very quickly. This one will be a great sing-a-long moment and can absolutely tell from the first listen this will be living rent-free in my mind for a while. Whilst this track has the most dynamic vocals, the whole performance of the track falls a little short of the first few dynamite tracks. Maybe it’s a little repetitive? I can see how SWS would cling to a track like this though.
‘Let You Down feat. Charlotte Sands’
This track, featuring pop-emo icon and up-and-coming star Charlotte Sands is the biggest vocal performance on the record. The music is toned down because of this. Less synth and melodic instrumentals are swapped for grungy guitar and made up for with the layering of both singers together. Very strong track and I’m glad it was released as a single.
‘Be Happy feat. Royal & The Serpent’
Honestly, I cannot be the only one that is shocked this pairing hasn’t happened yet. I found myself thinking the same when the single was released. Like, “this makes sense”. At some points, I genuinely had to consciously work out who was who in some moments. The big win for me though is the riff that opens that track. It pops up a few times throughout and it’s the riff winner of the record for sure.
‘Us feat. Dorothy’
At this point in the record when we have another strong grungy riff transition into a soft muted verse that builds to a catchy chorus, it is starting to feel a tad repetitive. I know there is an element of “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” but I would like to have seen a bit more adventure in the track structure by now. This track, being the final feature for the record could have been an opportunity to try something different! It has a strong catchy chorus but I feel will be slightly less memorable.
‘Ctrl + Alt + Del’
Okay, we are starting to feel a little extra punch again! Hearing this song in the context of the record makes it a CLEAR stand out as to why this was the lead single. The song structure is definitely getting the shake-up I had just asked for. It’s heavier, the pre-chorus is huge and by the time you even realise it you’re 10/10 bopping along. This is the first song on par with ‘Tyrants‘ in terms of strength and delivery. Love it. LOVE THIS TRACK.
It’s almost like exactly when I had asked for the record to pick up the pace, the band heard me and DELIVERED. The drums in this track are truly nuts from the newest SWS edition (and Tonight Alive drummer) Matty Best. A truly great performance from all. I would love to see the energy on this track open up a set (IF YOU’RE LISTENING GUYS I’LL BE AT MELBOURNE GOOD THINGS) Seriously this might have overtaken any other option as my fave track.
‘Mr. Nice Guy’
Well, this is different. I guess we are into another kind of pop-rock moment. I can’t imagine anyone hearing this and not having to resist the urge to dance their heart out. I was genuinely not expecting a breakdown to have happened in this track like, how they make it fit into this LITERAL POP SONG. This is a wonderfully executed track and is giving me huge fresh vibes from the group. Had I not known there were two more tracks I would have called it the perfect closer.
The way this album is set out is so very strange. I keep expecting a peek or plateau but again, I don’t get it on this track. IN A GREAT WAY though. The style of this track feels SWS familiar, to begin with, but the further into the track we go, the less I have ever heard ANYTHING like this from Sirens before. It’s not the strongest nor is it the weakest song. I know I said earlier about a different track that it’d be the one living rent-free in your head but I CHANGE MY MIND! It is this one.
Heeeerrrreeee it is. The change of pace and calm down to note the end of the record. Acoustic tracks is not something we see from this band often so its enjoyable hearing a softer version of Quinn’s vocals and the lyrical content is speaking directly to my soul. Well played.
I feel very much like this album is an upside-down bell curve. It starts off SO strong, plateaus into a bit of a repetitive place that doesn’t demonstrate the fearlessness for a change I think I craved from Sirens at this point—record seven. They then catapult me forward into a beautifully dynamic end to the record and all is redeemed. Either way, much more passionate fans will probably love it front to back simply because it hasn’t rocked the boat too much.
And look, every feature needs a round of applause and that’s a huge win. Very much looking forward to Good Things Festival now, even more than before.
Sleeping With Sirens – Complete Collapse tracklisting
2. Complete Collapse
3. Crosses (feat. Spencer Chamberlain of Underoath)
4. Family Tree
5. Let You Down (feat. Charlotte Sands)
6. Be Happy (feat. Royal & the Serpent)
7. Us (feat. Dorothy)
8. Ctrl + Alt + Del
9. Bloody Knuckles
10. Mr. Nice Guy
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