The Receiving End Of Sirens - Between The Heart And The Synapse (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Receiving End Of Sirens

Between The Heart And The Synapse (2005)

Triple Crown

At the same time, the Receiving End Of Sirens are easy to pin down and difficult to interpret. The Boston-based band's debut full-length, Between The Heart And The Synapse, contains a generally rock-infused post-hardcore sound that draws heavily from Artist In The Ambulance-era Thrice in their melodies, harmonies, choruses, and building methods. While that description probably makes them out to be some sort of copycat throwaway, what prevents the band from ever being easily labeled as such is that their take on the sound is plenty more developed and dynamic than most others that attempt it. At 13 tracks spanning over an hour, it's a tad overambitious for a debut, but for the most part, TREOS manage to keep your attention intact for the disc's duration.

It's nice to see an outfit actually properly utilizing a three-guitar attack, as TREOS delicately maneuver a constant, vaguely atmospheric backdrop to their strong melodies and three-part harmonies, which they craft with the ease of veteran bands around twice as long. Scattered amongst the record are bits of electronic ambience as well, which, while occasionally noodly, helps flow quite well; "The Rival Cycle" makes good use of these bits following a chug-chug, singing/growling/yelling mid-track "breakdown." Each track on ...Synapse has so many things going on, that live, it'd probably be fairly hard to replicate, but at least we're given an inherently creative studio effort here, as piano, programmed drums, and vocal overlay/manipulation is effectively implemented. "Broadcast Quality" even has a harmonizing, near-choral vocal arrangement softly closing it out.

The always lingering fine line between catchy and just horrendously repetitive is straddled here as well, but fortunately, the band usually leans towards the former. Their choruses usually contain an appropriately bold feel to them, as the general mood of the record that surrounds them is grandiose and rather epic, as in "The War Of All Against All." The transitions to the chorus here are a bit jumpy, but it's very declarative nonetheless, as you'll likely find yourself singing along to the couplet "We are the corps of corpses; we are up in arms and armed / So bring all the king's horses and all the king's men." Their methodical building is shown here, too, as the song ends taking advantage of several softly sung background voices, squealing guitar octaves and a slowly-paced percussion finish, and it eases finely into "...Then I Defy You, Stars" as a result.

Lyrically, TREOS is well-versed in occasionally ambiguous narrations and resultingly wholly refreshing. Instead of force-feeding the listener diary passages, they rely on clever wordplay and short portions of alliteration, usually simulatenously (["They sing the requiem to a closed casket burial / Your conspiracy: conspiring to deliver me to the authorities" - "Verona"], ["Like a felon, he fell into scandals, scams and master plans / to circumvent all circumstances" - "Planning A Prison Break"]).

The Receiving End Of Sirens' first full-length is mildly enjoyable and an impressive debut just the same, as it showcases a ton of potential and likewise developing talent. It only seems likely that the next record should see the band hitting their stride, both on record and on the popularity radar, as Between The Heart And The Synapse is a solid mix of accessibility and fairly experimental moments.

Planning A Prison Break
The Rival Cycle
Broadcast Quality