Album Review | DMF Records | Review by Marc Higgins | Stars: 3/5
From the opening track “Smokescreen” Abbe Martin and Hannah Wood, who are Sound Of The Sirens, offer an utterly captivating blend of vocal harmonies, strident acoustic guitars and infectious upbeat music. There is a venom and vim to their delivery, like American duo The Indigo Girls and 90’s UK pair The Dear Janes, Abbe and Hannah contrast sharp lyrics with a bright, edgy upbeat sound. The duo based in Exeter, met working together at the Timepiece club, where they first performed together. For All Our Sins is their debut album after a series of wonderful EPs and building a reputation as a captivating and energetic live show. “Smokescreen” is a belter of a song, hand claps and the pairing of those voices, sometimes together, sometimes apart, makes for an intense rollercoaster of an opener. “Mr Wilson” and “Together Alone” are a calmer ride, the beautiful call and response vocals are layered against a great finger picked guitar part. Again, on these tracks, the arrangement of the voices makes a strong impression as Sound Of The Sirens alternate lines or harmonise beautifully. Listen to the uplifting “In This Time” where the two vocalists build to an anthemic choir delivering a compelling message of hope. “Grow” is a real ‘fist in the air’ anthemic song that screams positivity and energy like the best of Thea Gilmore. “Chaos” opens with a rolling bass riff that recalls Harvest era Neil Young or America, but, because this is Sound Of The Sirens, it doesn’t stand still for a second, what sounds like a mandolin joins in before beautiful layered vocals carry you away. “Cross Our Hearts”, two voices dropping in and out of incredibly tight harmony over beautiful acoustic guitars, represents the essence of what is compelling about this album. Mental health and being involved in a campaign to raise awareness in primary school education, informs “The Voice” against a bubbling keyboard and a dub rhythm Sound Of The Sirens rail against that small voice inside of us, showing that below bright acoustic music there is a serious message. Final track “The Circus” starts with swirling sounds and atmospherics, an echo of the track before, creating a sense of the turmoil that the lyric suggests. Abbe and Hannah set their vocals against each other, syncopating lines to create a kind of conversation lyric that is just stunning, fitting together perfectly. There is a magic created when voices combine to create harmonies, from Allegri to Crosby Stills and Nash, performers have spun gold using the placing of contrasting voices against and alongside each other. Sound of the Sirens latest CD fans these long burning embers to create flames.