SIREN – The Row
Siren’s The Row is a conglomeration of an identity crisis. I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad or off-putting way. These boys know how to rock and kick ass, that’s for sure. Consisting of Samuel Frondero on lead and guitar, Marcus Kwaka on bass and synth, Mark “Spud” McKenzie on drums, and Jack Nardini also on lead and guitar, this Italian-based alternative band engage you with a sense of boldness.
The Row’s slow and atmospheric two-minute opener “Swan’s Tale” has you thinking more Edward Scissorhands than Freddie Krueger. The male and female counterparts are balanced – one brooding with angst and the other warm and welcoming. It is a strategically placed opener that you would think sets the tone for the rest of the album (ironically, this “swan song” opens rather than closes). But then, a surpise.
“Dr. Saint,” the second number,” is on the opposite end of the spectrum. It is a real thumper if you will. Here, you can’t even tell it’s the same band altogether. This continues with “Mission,” which is more pop punk than anything. A stage dive is a must with this one. “Lonely Dance” takes the band back a notch with dreary approach, almost dropping us into a nightmarish world. Picture a black and white horror film. It’s fine – your intestines are still intact. Creatively, the vocals are often filtered here, giving that distorted voice on the radio feel.
“Love is Gone” takes no prisoners. This album is pure rock. This track celebrates a love loss despite its title inferring more of a painful experience. The singer instead revels in it. But then “Wave” follows. Can it be? Is Siren trying to bite off more than it can chew? Sounding like a rock version of an Ellie Goulding-esque number, the vocals don’t quite match the feel. Yes, the Siren’s Italian accent may have something to do with it, but this may be the record’s most awkward attempt. Points for audacity, though.
I will say this. The album highlight has to be its final track “Falling Down.” It has a nice blend of strings and 90’s alt sensibilities. It is that throwback to your favorite decade you wish you could hear more of on modern radio. This blend sort of resembles what you get from the album as a whole: you think it’s one thing at the start before it turns into something else thirty seconds in. Let it surprise you. It could be a buffet of styles that could very well fit your appetite.
– Erman Baradi