UK release: 28th March 2011
Skiddle rating: 4/5
Reviewed by: Chris White
2011 is rapidly becoming the year of the UK girl band; new acts such as the Louis Walsh vehicle Wonderland and the feisty Parade (about to hit the top 10 with their debut single) are rapidly gathering steam, The Saturdays are expected to come back with new music this year following a boost in popularity with their top 10 album ‘Headlines’ and a massive UK tour, and pop veterans Sugababes return with their eighth album this summer.
Room for one more? There better be, because here come Sirens, a Geordie 3-piece with some serious attitude and a rather fine new album...
#3: Opium Apathy is in fact the girls' third album; it’s unclear where the first two have ended up but if the press release is to be believed they can be found somewhere between Japan and the US. Honing their craft elsewhere may prove to have been a wise decision. The underlying themes are hardly ground breaking; nights out, boys... a general ‘don’t mess with us’ vibe we’ve become accustomed to from today’s female pop acts.
The production however, is spot on. Album opener ‘Don’t Let Go’ is insanely catchy, pure electro-pop, with a definite European trash feel – a very good thing. Lead single ‘Stilettos’ is in a similar vein, dance-pop about ‘4 inch, 5 inch, 6 inch’ stilettos. Not exactly Ivor Nevello material, but a memorable electronic beat and thumping bass make it a good choice to launch their UK assault.
The more urban, hip hop sounding tracks such as ‘Murda’ and ‘Damn Right’ are especially strong and compliment the dance pop fodder perfectly. Dirty beats and grimy bass lines chug along with particular finesse.
The whole album has a very fresh sound, packed with attitude. This feeling is further enforced with a cover of Kelis’s ‘Bossy’; a more electro, up-tempo version, it’s an excellent cover and you’d certainly be forgiven for assuming it was an original Sirens number. Album closer ‘Disco Sirens’ is deliciously infectious; looped siren sounds on the chorus and the girls brash vocals give the track a real UK-2011-disco flavour.
I’ll be honest, my expectations of the album weren’t too high; electro pop with attitude is certainly a dominating genre in today’s charts, and the chances of a new girl band from Newcastle successfully putting their stamp on things seemed pretty low.
I am however happy to report this is a strong offering from the girls, a collection of catchy, well-produced pop tracks, encapsulating the best of current trends in dance and urban music whilst retaining a distinctly UK sound. Will Sirens hit the big time in 2011? Who knows. The UK pop scene is terrifyingly fickle these days, but with this album I’d say they are certainly off to a brilliant start.
Listen to an album sampler here: