10 Years Later, TREOS Still Matters: Celebrating ‘Between The Heart And The Synapse’


I was fourteen years old when Between The Heart And The Synapse first came out. I was aware of the band’s presence a little before it released, but I was not yet aware of what the band would later do for me.

I was young, excited to be out at shows, and completely enthralled by the Massachusetts DIY scene at the time. Upon leaving a show in Greater Boston, I remember being given a flyer for a band called The Receiving End Of Sirens. The name seemed long enough to me to be cool, as if it were purposefully a definitive statement that I was yet to understand. I was in 8th grade, and was yet to fully realize what these musicians, their albums, and their songs were going to mean to me.

Flash forward to freshman year in high school, and I had a crush. She was quiet, secluded, a little shy, but she gave me something. Still excited about the iTunes playlist “print” function for all the mix CDs I made, I was surprised to see that this was handwritten. Crisp, clear, and written with purpose, I was handed a playlist titled “Between The Heart And The Synapse.” Firstly, what the hell was a synapse? I looked it up, but its true understanding was still years away for Biology wasn’t required until junior year, and I was still a measly freshman learning about gravity.

That’s where it started, but certainly not where it ended. From headlining shows at The Avalon (RIP), to the Middle East, Worcester, and all over Massachusetts for local fans to nationwide, cross-country, and festival appearances, The Receiving End Of Sirens reverberated with their dense, but surreal sound found on Between The Heart And The Synapse.

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And here we are ten years later. The band has long been broken up, none of the members besides Casey Crescenzo and Brian Southall have been too active in making music today. They only released two albums, but even with this their time together is still weighted heavily.

So what was so special about Between The Heart And The Synapse? Why that album? I won’t lie, it’s not my favorite TREOS album. I much prefer The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi, I think it’s superior sonically, lyrically, and thematically. But even with this, when talking about TREOS, and their impact and heart as musicians, it’s almost always Between The Heart And The Synapse.

With three guitars, three vocalists, synths, varying time signatures, three-part harmonies and melodies, it’s incredibly easy to denote the sonic accomplishments of Between The Heart And The Synapse, what was even stronger felt was the band’s live presence. Shuffling everything birthed from the album, the band was able to bring the same experience live. Known for being some of the nicest dudes in the scene at the time, the band was warm in between songs, but fully confident in bringing the stories, worlds, and atmospheres cultivated from the album.

Looking back on the album’s make-up, it’s still amazing to find all the pop melodies soaring over the consciously created foundation of progressive lead guitar riffs, massive drums and bass, all held together within a wall of distortion and rhythm guitar. With the introductory “Planning A Prison Break,” TREOS immediately show off their skills at writing incredibly catchy riffs, drowned in diverse and full instrumentation. The collective hymns of yelling “this is the last night in my body” in Boston on the first nights my parents let me go to concerts alone with friends will forever be a staple of my adolescence, as I am sure many of you have similar examples of transcendent growth in your previous years.

With favorites like “The Rival Cycle,” “The War Of All Against All,” “This Armistice,” and “Broadcast Quality,” Between The Heart And The Synapse is a consistent album with little to no sour parts. Even “Verona,” a notoriously overlooked song was far better than most of what was going on in that scene at the time. TREOS at their most minimalist was still the most exciting part of 2005.

So again, here we are ten years later, an entire decade. Nothing came to fruition with my crush, I have had countless other bands find their way to my iPod, but as I remain in Boston, my much loved city, having known TREOS, and been apart of their existence, are still some of my most cherished moments. Now excuse my while I revisit Between The Heart And The Synapse lyricism to the point of deduced nonsense.

‘Between The Heart and the Synapse’ turns 10 this Sunday, April 26. Long live.

Drew Caruso

Drew Caruso is a Bostonian who, when not writing about music and film, spends his time getting lost in New England, reading books, talking about science whether people want to listen or not, and more. To see the thoughts of a scientist by day and a writer by night, follow him on Twitter.
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