The story of star-crossed lovers is one that has been around for centuries. Using a new spin, alternative rock band Viserra tells the tale of one such couple in their sci-fi concept album Siren Star. Through the album, the band presents alternating perspectives of the characters who are separated by both time and space. While there is an episodic nature to the songs, they can also be enjoyed on their own outside the context of the album.
The band combines Rafael Jordan’s (guitar) screenwriting ability with their unique melodic medley. Together with Lexi Littlejohn (vocals), Stephen Rosolio (bass) and Michael Riffle (drums), Jordan has created a story worthy of your time. Music from the album is set to be featured in the television series Salvage Marines.
The album starts with the deep tones of ‘Light Years’. The deep opening leads to soaring guitars that get your pulse racing. Littlejohn’s vocals come in as this softer layer over the guitars and draw you into the tale of the album. This song sends you flying, but there is still something gentle about it. The harmonisations at times add a little something extra to the song.
‘Weightless’ hits you with a harder sound as the guitars rip through you. There is a depth to the guitars on this song that counters the title as it grounds you. However, the vocals fly above you and help you soar to the lyrics. This track highlights Littlejohn’s talent as her vocals captivate you. Lyrically, it tells you bit more about the relationship that forms the foundation of the album. You can hear the distance between them within every element of the song.
The vocal sample at the start of ‘Falling Faster’ combines with the soft opening to set the tone of this track. There is a tenderness to this song that the others did not have. While softer, there are these soaring guitar lines and a driving vibe to the melody. This combines with the vocals to add a little something to the sense of falling epitomised by the lyrics.
The next track is ‘Harder to Breathe’ and uses this great guitar-driven opening to hook you. There is something different about the tone of the opening that gets your attention before Littlejohn’s vocals hit. Lyrically, this song takes you to a different part of the relationship that is very interesting to hear. There is something engaging about this track that makes it hard to stop listening to it.
‘Midnight Sun’ has this light yet undulating opening that leads you to these equally light guitar notes. The almost tender opening relaxes you into the song as the lyrics search for something. The electric guitars enter smoothing with this great beat to the melody. There is a bit of despair in this song that is driven home in the chorus by the powerful vocals.
The album ends on a fast-paced note with ‘Far From Over’. The driving guitars hit you from the first moment and keep up this pace throughout most of the track. There are more soothing melodic moments that offer you a sense of hope that everything is going to be okay for the characters of the story.
Viserra uses their sci-fi concept album Siren Star to tell the tale of star-crossed lovers. Each track looks at a different aspect of the relationship and combines Littlejohn’s powerful vocals with driving guitars. There is something captivating about the story, but you can also listen to each track alone without feeling like you are missing something.