The Receiving End of Sirens had the potential to be the greatest band that ever lived. When they burst onto the scene in 2005 with their debut album, Between the Heart and the Synapse, critics and fans alike heralded the albums as a near masterpiece with several critics stating that the album was the beginning of one of the most successful rock acts of all time. However, several things stopped The Receiving End of Sirens (or TREOS as known by fans and the band members themselves). After several arguments while on tour, the TREOS decided to release Casey Crescenzo, one of the band’s three vocalists, songwriters, and guitar players. While Crescenzo went on to find even more critical success with his new project, The Dear Hunter, TREOS was left missing a piece of their puzzle and after putting out one more album, disbanded on March 18th, 2008 (my 18th birthday). Even though they’re gone now, Between the Heart and the Synapse still serves as a beautiful album, mixing progressive experimental rock with post-hardcore riffs in a way that had never been done before.

The best way to describe Between the Heart and the Synapse is that it’s what would happen if the Mars Volta went back in time and formed a supergroup with themselves as At the Drive-In. The album opens with the stellar track, “Planning a Prison Break”, showcasing the band’s unique use of three guitars and three vocalists. Each of the singers brings their own distinct tone to the song as melodies change at each verse. “The Rival Cycle” shows off the band’s post-hardcore sensibilities with screamed vocals towards the end of the song while the “Evidence” mixes a progressive verse in with a post-hardcore chorus and bleeping electronics. The electronics are also shown prominently on “Broadcast Quality”. The stand-out piece of the album is “This Armistice” in which Casey Crescenzo gives the best vocal performance of his life, singing, “Check my vitals/The truth is vile but vital to the cause”. Lyrics like these showcase the band’s interesting way of writing songs, which relies of short instances of rhyme and alliteration (i.e. from “Planning a Prison Break” – “Like a felon, he fell into scandal/Scams and masterplans”).

This album is wonderful but not perfect. At times, the constant attack of three guitars and vocalist can become overbearing and drowning, such as in “The War of All Against All” or “…Then I Defy You, Stars”. However, if TREOS had been able to remain a solid unit for a few more years, who knows what could’ve happened?

Overall rating: 8.9/10