American post-hardcore band Sleeping With Sirens released their second acoustic album Live And Unplugged on April 8th 2016 via Epitaph. It includes old fan favourites such as ‘If You Can’t Hang’ and ‘With Ears to See, and Eyes to Hear’ as well as songs from their latest album Madness. On top of that listeners get covers of the songs ‘Iris’ by the Goo Goo Dolls and ‘Santeria’ by Sublime for the first time ever.
Live And Unplugged was recorded on their ‘We like it Quiet’ tour in fall 2015 and enables fans to relive the amazing and intimate shows over and over again. It is also a great opportunity for anyone who has not had the chance to catch the band, consisting of Kellin Quinn (vocals), Nick Martin (lead guitar), Justin Hills (bass, backing vocals), Gabe Barham (drums) and Jack Fowler (rhythm guitar), on stage yet.
The album is especially great for anyone who is fond of Sleeping With Sirens’ softer side, as previously shown on their acoustic EP If You Were A Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack (2012 via Rise Records). From fast paced songs full of energy such as ‘Go Go Go’ to emotionally loaded anthems like ‘The Strays’ and ‘Gold’ one big theme seems to be persistent in all of the 11 songs – the passion of both the band and the audience. All the fans present in the venue – whose stage has been decorated with rugs and a sofa to mimic the atmosphere of a cozy living room – are singing along as loud and enthusiastic as possible to show how much the songs performed by their favourite musicians mean to them.
Despite the lack of loud electric guitars and heavy bass riffs, SWS do their best to play a good show for their fans. A laid back, intimate atmosphere is created through soft tunes provided by Justin, Nick, Gabe and Jack in combination with a surprisingly vulnerable sounding Kellin. It is easy to hear how much impact the songs have on every single person in the room.
Even if you are not a fan of the band per se or you prefer them in their usual set up, Invicta recommends giving Live and Unplugged a listen. Kellin himself describes their ‘live dynamics [as] very different compared to [their] studio sound’. One has to be in the right mood for the 46 minutes of acoustic goodness of course, because otherwise it could seem a bit lengthy overall. Other than that the album definitely is not only for die hard fans but also for anyone who wants to gain a new perspective on a typical post-hardcore band. The acoustic versions of their songs allow new insights into the emotional world of Sleeping With Sirens and therefore show the band in a totally different light than usual.
A heartfelt album which takes you on a journey through the mind and heart of singer and songwriter Kellin Quinn, accompanied acoustically by the other 4 bandmembers. With their best songs from their four previously released records, this live album doesn't fail to deliver and is perfect for anyone who enjoys a good acoustic tune.