American rock band Sleeping with Sirens have released their 6th album ‘Live and Unplugged’ featuring songs from their 2015 acoustic tour ‘We Like It Quiet’. Upon announcing the album, they released the live version of ‘Gold’ from their most recent album ‘Madness’ and showed us a taster of what was to come in the full album.
One of the first songs Kellin wrote with the band ‘If I’m James Dean, Your Audrey Hepburn’ appears second on the album. The track is introduced with a single guitar before building up the percussion instruments and Kellin starts singing supported by the crowd chanting every word with passion and exuberance…and screaming with excitement. The greatest part of the album is it really allows us to listen to the lyrics and vocals, to just pause all the craziness, dancing and screaming (mostly by Kellin) and connect with the songs, the band and the fans around us.
‘This song is about being a dad’ Kellin announces and the crowd screams. As he comes in with the first lyrics the room is filled with tension . The crowd is calm, quietly singing along before the pace picks up yet continues with passion and emotion. You can feel the connection between the band and the lyrics and that the crowd isn;t just singing to the song in excitement but many of them can relate to the lyrics, even if it’s just a line or two. The guitar and drums are played the same as in the original track so they don’t change it up apart from slowing it down a little.
The album also includes two covers, ‘Iris’ by The Goo Goo Dolls and ‘Santeria’ by Sublime. Unlike Iris, Santeria is something we’ve not heard by Sleeping With Sirens before and they execute it with style. This track is a more upbeat contrast to the rest of the tracks on the album and the band turns this 90’s garage punk hit into a more modern, pop-punk version of the song that the whole crowd sings along to with excitement. ‘Iris’ is a cover we’ve heard many times before by the band and one we are very excited about every time it is played, not just because Kellin’s voice sounds so perfect when he sings it, but because it’s a great song. This song shows off Kellin’s vocals the most out of all of them and you almost don’t want to sing along so you can listen to his voice…but of course everyone does. And they know every lyric as demonstrated when Kellin stops singing and leaves it the crowd to carry on a part of the chorus.
The penultimate track is the least expected as the original is so fast past and heavy you could never imagine it as an acoustic, yet it works beautifully. The song ‘If You Can’t Hang’ from their 2011 album ‘Let’s Cheers To This’ is introduced by the band making fun of the repetitive lyrics of both this song and ‘Kick Me’ from their album ‘Madness’. During the song the crowd sings so loud they overpower Kellin at moments. This song is their most listened to on Spotify and as proven by the track well loved by the whole fanbase. The track fades out to girls screaming their names.
Overall, the album is a beautiful compilation of songs from all their albums, in their truest form. It binds the fans together with the cheering of the crowd and the bands interaction with the fans lets us feel as though were in the room with the band, listening to the rawest version of Sleeping with Sirens we could ask for.