Humans are extremely complicated organisms made up of over 10 trillion cells, teeming with neurons that are constantly communicating via a series of bright flashes. However, despite this complexity, there's an emotional element to us that's less easily definable, but no less important. Considering all this, it was apt that The Receiving End Of Sirens titled their breakthrough debut Between The Heart And The Synapse. However, with The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi, they've expanded their point of view to include not just humans but the entire universe-and while this scope may be seam broad, TREOS pull it off via a stunning collection of narrative songs.
The Receiving End Of Sirens were initially formed in 2003 when bassist/vocalist Brendan Brown and guitarist/vocalist Alex Bars were attending their freshman year of college in Boston. "We had played in a band in high school, but when we went to college, we decided to write stuff for our hypothetical band just for fun," Brown explains. After writing together for two months, the duo recruited guitarist Nate Patterson and drummer Andrew Cook and The Receiving End Of Sirens was born. Last year, the absent role of the third guitarist was aptly filled by Brian Southall, cementingthe current and permanent five-piece lineup.
"We've never clicked the way we have," Brown explains when asked how he feels about the band's current incantation. "We knew Brian was a good guitarist, but we got along from the beginning so on a personal level we knew that it would work, too," he continues. "First and foremost, we were looking for someone we could live every day of every tour with-and then from there writing the music becomes ten times easier, because writing music with friends is much easier than writing music with business partners."
Recorded February - April 07' at SOMD studios in Beltsville, Maryland with longtime producer and friend, Matt Squire (Panic! At The Disco, Hit The Lights), The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi finds the band expanding their sound and bringing previously peripheral elements to the forefront. "I think the songs on this album are a lot more selfless," Brown explains when asked how he considers the album a progression from the band's debut. "Instead of projecting what we wanted onto a song we just let it sort of play itself out, so I think there's a lot more space and groove," he continues. "The idea was that the song was already out there in outer space; it was just our job to put the pieces together."
"Smoke and Mirrors" features a spoken-word introduction, which is followed up by soaring melodies, massive guitar riffs and commanding drums. "A Realization of the Ear" and "Swallow People Whole" fully realize the electronic elements that have always been inherent in the band's sound to add a new dimension to their seasoned brand of critically acclaimed music; and the nearly seven-minute long opus "The Heir Of Empty Breath" is equal parts climactic and cathartic and shows the band stretching out both sonically and spiritually. "This time around, we were more comfortable with ourselves as people, and as a band. We had a few years to figure it out, and when it came time to write this record, we felt prepared and confident in what we were doing-and we hope that shows," says Cook.
The title is the most esoteric part of The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi. "When it came to lyrics this time around I really didn't want things to be as ambiguous as they have been in the past," Brown explains. "I think that our fans are going to connect on a far more personal level to these songs because they're a lot more straight-forward." For example, "The Salesman, The Husband, The Lover" is the most narrative account of a fictional story that Brown wrote about a broken home that slowly unravels throughout the course of the album. "A lot my friends grew up with less-than-ideal family lives and I think that song encompasses an emotional journey that they will really be able to relate to," Brown says, adding many of the band's fans also in broken homes and "this song is for them."
However, like the complex human genome, it's difficult to categorize exactly where The Receiving End Of Sirens fit in. "We just think of our band as a chameleon, because all of our songs are so different," Brown explains-and the fact that TREOS have been well-received on tours alongside everyone from Thrice and Circa Survive to Paramore and Senses Fail, confirms this statement. "We're definitely not a flash-in-the pan band," he continues. "There are definitely opportunities we could have taken to get bigger faster, but we want this to be our career." It's not just lip service; everything from the band's insane touring schedule to their energetic live shows to the attention to detail on their records reeks of that sentiment.
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