Speaking in Shadows – ‘The Lies We Lead’

By Joshua Wroath

Speaking in Shadows rock in the field shared by Lower Than Atlantis, You Me At Six and We Are The Ocean – a mix of pop-punk with the harder energies of alternative rock and hardcore. However, listening to Speaking in Shadows, it’s clear there is little in common with pop-punk here compared to their contemporaries; they pull towards pure alternative rock.

Riffs are hard and pressed on the band’s new EP ‘The Lies We Lead’ with guitars wailing an ever-wishful hope to be filling arenas. All six songs are clearly crafted to stand on their own, musically and lyrically, as if each was considered to be a single (‘Technicolour Trainwreck’ ended up winning that competition). As a result each is memorable, but not necessarily in a good way.

Opener ‘Splinters’ is the most coherent song on the EP, being a straight up rock song, followed by ‘Technicolour Trainwreck’ which is itself acceptable, although by the end you can hear cracks appearing. It’s not as if SIS make bad music, it’s just none of the sounds really stay in your head – they seems to just drift over you.

The rest of the EP slides downhill from the first two tracks. ‘Mislead Soldiers’, an anti-war song, is just so confused in its approach. Over the top preachy and with its screaming bridge, it becomes borderline tasteless.

‘Moths’’ acoustic beginning is actually a breath of fresh air by the time you reach it. Adam Smith’s continuous reverb vocals however do irritate word after word, reverb after reverb, until the abrupt drumming brings in a completely unnecessary rock out. Sticking to basics can do so much more than just ramming in guitars and drums sometimes, and it is on moments like this where it is hard to see how SIS could ever musically progress.

Title track ‘The Lies We Lead’ takes the biscuit however. With its overtly creepy lyrics “Take off your clothes and be who you wanna be tonight”, it is not only cringey, but also makes one feel a bit queasy.

Young and bashful, SIS are clearly honing their sound and lyrics toward an audience of screaming young adolescents. They will find an audience with this EP for sure, but just don’t expect them to be making head way in the alternative rock genre anytime too soon.


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