As with those in Liverpool, any band hailing from Manchester has a lot of expectations from their public. While Liverpool had The Beatles, Manchester bore The Stone Roses, Oasis, The Smiths and even Take That. More recently, Manchester bore an innovative, energetic and engaging band called HMS Sirens. Fusing the grittiness of grunge with the power of alternative rock, TC (vocals and bass), Brewster (guitar), Alex (guitar), Chris (keys) and Michael (drums) are breeding their own type of 21st-century rock and roll.
Beginning as acquaintances with mutual friends, the lads knew of each other but stuck to their own projects. It was a chance meeting at an old-fashioned pub in The Temple that spurred the creation of HMS Sirens. Joining forces with their producer (Phil), the lads recorded and released their debut EP Polaroids.
Comprised of three tracks, Polaroids is an honest, heartfelt, poignant and sometimes sexy EP. Touching on issues of toxic relationships and isolation, Polaroids is an expression of painful desperation living in a world of doom and gloom – it’s not all chocolate and roses. Ranging from the introspective ’21’ to an emotional ‘Losing Touch’ and impassioned ‘Two X Two’, HMS Sirens use a 90’s grunge-esque style to intoxicate your senses and lose your mind.
Lyrically, the tracks are sombre and, well, unhappy; however, the message of each track is emphasised through the instrumentation and vocals. Sonically, HMS Sirens adopt a heavy and raw with such brutality that you lose your ability to think clearly. Guitar-driven with pounding drums, Polaroids is a fusion of The Verve, Radiohead, R.E.M. and Nirvana. TC’s throaty vocals round the tracks out well making each distinctive, but still part of a comprehensive whole.
Alright, so what do I have to say about HMS Sirens and their debut EP? Overall, I really like it. The complementary layering and texturing of vocals over instrumentation help achieve that delicate balance between serenity and innovative awfulness. I’m not saying you should listen to it, but it is worth your time if you want something deep, passionate and addictive.