The Receiving End of Sirens – The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi

The Receiving End of Sirens
The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi

Between the Heart and the Synapse, the debut full-length from Boston based quintet The Receiving End of Sirens, was in heavy rotation when I first heard it. They are one of many bands these days that experiment with electronics coupled with a post-hardcore delivery. They are also one of the very few bands that pull it off with enough technical and addicting melodies to help them stand out among their peers, without loosing edge. As ambitious as this debut full-length was, it still left much to be desired. Songs ran far past a typical 3 and half minute length, which in some cases wasn’t necessary, not to mention the occasional filler. Still, it was a solid effort. It’s a good thing the band survived a few lineup changes, because in The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi they have grown out of the more archetypal elements of their brand of post-hardcore, and have written a solid rock record.

The first distinct impression that I got when listening to The Earth Sings… is that since their last album, the production has gone through the roof. This is probably attributed to the fact that the album is more heavily steeped in electronics and a broader instrumentation. The first song, “Swallow People Whole”, is a slow moving, yet catchy tune almost entirely driven by electronic beats and keyboards. Eventually the guitars kick in at the right moment to add to the atmosphere rather than distract and take the center stage like some songs on their previous album. “Oubliette (I Disappear)” has a hint of prog-rock attitude as well a chorus that elevates the song to becoming a potential single, if any. The only thing that I would say takes away from it is the filler at the end. It serves to fill in the space until the next song, and it’s a minor complaint, but it would have been fine without it.

“The Crop and the Pest” is just another great rock song with a great big chorus, complete with layered vocals. The best songs on their previous album, were the ones with the big choruses, and they have upped the ante ten-fold on this release. If anything was sacrificed in the jump, it would be the speed. While they were more driving and aggressive on Between the Heart…, their elongation here adds to the epic scope and allows for a bigger canvas to build on their creative strengths. This is especially the case on “A Realization of the Ear”, in which the lyrics are perfectly complimented with the electronic backdrop. The song beautifully culminates in the second half when the layered vocals come in to add to the instrumentation and finish in solidarity, underscoring the bleak, yet simple lyrics.

If any songs bring back the most from their previous effort, they would easily be “Saturnus” and “Heir for an Empty Breath”. They are similar in sound, but they are also more epic in scope. Meanwhile, “Stay Small” further showcases the bands ability to write awesome guitar lines. I like the occasional solo, but I am even more impressed with the more simple guitar lines that are not necessarily technical, but add a lot to the atmosphere and integrity of the song.

The Receiving End of Sirens will no doubt get some flak for “maturing”, but when they are delivering great music, it should silence even past nay-sayers. While Between the Heart… showed us they can play their instruments, The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi shows us they can write amazing songs. Pick this up along with their last release to experience a band that is poised for much greater success.