V. Sirin – “Sandy Truth” b/w “The Story of the Hundred”

V. Sirin
"Sandy Truth" b/w "The Story of the Hundred"

I don’t know what to make of V. Sirin. These songs have elements of emo and indie rock with odd qualities that are at times tough to get a handle on. The song changes rhythms several times, and odd sounds are thrown in here and there. The vocals usually sound so off-key it’s almost painful, and the backing “ooo-ooo” vocals are strange. But at other moments, the vocals fit perfectly, and the band can take on a more intense style as well.

“Sandy Truth” takes up the entire A-side. Starting off slow and quiet, with a kind of melodic guitar over an almost indie-rock feeling rhythm, the vocals mix nicely with the music. This sounds a little bit like a slower version of The Wicked Farleys. Then the song slows, and the rhythm changes, the guitar building and often kicking in stray notes here and there, sometimes blaring away for a second. It changes again, slowing and getting quieter as the vocals come back in, all broken and odd. Then it picks up again, more intense, the vocals more passionate and breaking and powerful. A few more time changes and some backing vocals later, the song flows itself out. How strange and intriguing.

On the B-side, “The Story of the Hundred” has a more consistent pace. Flowing along at a head-bobbing yet melodic pace, this song has a kind of quiet desperation to it. The music reminds me of a combination of The Vehicle Birth and Paul Newman, oddly enough, and it works completely for this song, with electric guitar, bass, and drums changing constantly. Then things change (again), speeding up as the vocals come in kind of off-key and odd. At the end, things change again, and the multiple vocalists come repetitive and almost shouting in over blaring guitar and an almost grooving bass line. This is my favorite part of the album, carrying an odd but intriguing intensity. “These Whales are Obviously Snakes” closes the album. The rock here is more consistent and flowing, and here the band takes on a more emo sound, with melodic but powerful guitar and vocals that are sort of buried beneath the music. And then they come in shouting in a high-pitched shriek that your moth might use to call you in from the playground to eat, and this is just weird. As the music becomes almost poppy in nature, the vocals are totally off-kilter and weird. Oh, and then it just ends.

If an emo band can be judged by how many times they change from fast to slow while maintaining a melodic quality, then V. Sirin would be the definitive emo band. But they don’t sound like any emo band I’ve ever heard, instead having moments of sheer indie-rock and even indie-pop. And there’s something of a punk-rock quality to the intensity of the louder moments and the vocals that at times almost shout. This is a strange, almost schizophrenic release, but I like it, and I’m intrigued by what V. Sirin are doing. I’ll have to hear more from this band before I can pin them down, however.