Referred to by their fans as S&S or SandS, Rochester. New York's SIRENS & SAILORS are amassing a solid following for their semiautomatic-echoing style of metalcore. A lot of the band's success rides on feverish blast beats and crashing thrash parts administered by Doug Court. The rest of what S&S brings to the table is tons of repetitive low-end chugs from Todd Golder, Jimm Lindsley and Steven Goupil and prototype rise and fall screams from Kyle Birhle, who is countered by soaring cleans from Golder. Count on as many breakdowns as a highway choked by permafrost on the band's second full-length and fourth overall release, "Skeletons".
Kyle Birhle has been quoted in an interview with Broken Records magazine as saying "our influences range from the music our parents made us listen to growing up, all the way to current music that we listen to today". What this means is that for all of the butt-ugly tones, clogging riffs and bludgeoning tom kicks, S&S does find peppy segments to squeeze into their gory mix.
For young acolytes of this stuff to which SIRENS & SAILORS is principally marketed, the about-face upswing in moods from brutish verses to florid choruses on "Not That Easy", "Straightjacket", "Weight of the World", "Hold Fast" and "Go for the Throat" is going to be a long-affective pleasure pill. For those who pray metalcore sees its official demise sooner than later, "Skeletons" will hardly be in their best interest. The fact of the matter is that S&S have the capacity to play in many modes including grind, and herein, they milk the hell out of every bpm Doug Court allots them.
The mix of the album brings Court's berserker bass pedals forward to the point they can sting a few overstimulated brain cells after a while. He appears to take inspiration from MESHUGGAH's Tomas Haake, FEAR FACTORY's Raymond Herrera and of course, the double hammer jackrabbit, Gene Hoglan. Doug Court's so much a factor in this band the blipping guitar squibs from Todd Golder and Jimm Lindsley are prominently dialed up ("Exorcist", for example) to make themselves heard, as well as to break open their monotonous riff creases.
At least the album has gorgeous, effervescent guitars and electronics to spice up the undulating instrumental "Reflection". Then "Born & Raised (Flower City)" makes the attempt to streamline S&S' chunky onslaught with tempos fluctuating between mosh and stomp before a couple of breakdowns change the feel of the song a few more times. Some nice violin and cello fragments interrupt the battering bedlam of the title song and to the band's credit, they modify their tone up a level to match the chamber feel.
The thing with SIRENS & SAILORS is they employ their husked-out schemes so many times it becomes old hat in a hurry unless you're really that deep into what they're doing. For the occasional shake-ups that appear on "Skeletons", the album stays in a primarily coarse key and abides by a set of slow-fast interchanges that grow routine and weary after a while, despite the band's sharp execution. Metalcore fanatics will embrace all of this, naturally, and thus SIRENS & SAILORS is holding the torch for them with a firm grip.