Posts filed under ‘NY’

Breaking Laces – My Best Kept Secret

Breaking Laces

Breaking Laces holds the place of number 1 or 2 among my list of top 5 indie acts. In fact, I’m such a fan I found it difficult to write this review. Writing a review (in my opinion) demands an honest and fair view of both the highpoints and low points of the subject, and as lame as this sounds, I have a hard time coming up with low points for Breaking Laces.

So here’s the quick summary…

Poppy? Sometimes.

Acoustic? Yup, but more-so in the older albums.

Electric? Definitely. Great hooks. Willem kicks the distortion up on that acoustic and things get loud. Rob’s bass-lines add just the right amount of punch and groove without forcing the issue. Seth’s beats are clean, solid, and provide just the right motivation, and the rhythm section in general is solid as granite.

Heartfelt? I like “honest” better (see below.)

Amusing? From time to time.

Buy it? Definitely. ‘Lemonade’ and ‘Sohcahtoa’ are my favorites. Must listen tracks include: “Call You Home”, “Shack Up SOS”, “Get Up Today”, “God In Training”, “Plain Jane”, “Meagan”, “Where’s Her Mind”, “Global Warming Day”, and “One Way Out.” Generally speaking, ‘Operation Income’ and ‘Astronomy is my life, but I love you’ lack some of the energy in the other two releases, but still quite good in their own rites. For the most part their music leans towards the lighter side, I just happen to like when they turn up the groove and the distortion.

More Rambling…

Three words continually came to mind as I thought about how to possibly describe this act… The first was “natural”, the second was “honest”, and the third was “clean.”
Natural because these guys are, in every way, natural muscians. I’ve been able to catch ‘em live several times and own all of their releases. Every aspect of the band – from the music, the lyrics, the performance, and even their demeanor, is just natural. It’s easy and unforced. These guys are talented, creative, have something to say and simply go about saying it.

Honest because the band simply strikes you as 3 guys who love playing music – their music, and they’re not trying to be anything but who they are. The lyrics feel like pages lifted from every twist and turn of their own lives. If you listen across all of the albums you’ll know exactly what I mean.

And clean mostly referring to playing style. All of the music ignores extra ‘ornamentation.’ What’s there are only the bits that should be – the bits that matter – the pieces or the accents that are purposeful and that’s it. Clean also referrs to playing style. These guys are very talented, professional muscians. Their performances feel like clockwork and convey a feeling of dedication to what they’re doing.

Ok… No more rambling. Go listen, come up with your own opinion, and tell me if I’m wrong.

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May 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm Leave a comment

The Forms – Get on Board Before They Leave Without You

The short review… Go buy this album before they go big and you can’t get any credit for the discovery. This album is good – and as these guys really start refining their style – the next  one is only going to be better.

The Forms Album Image  – Check out “The Forms” on MySpace –

Stand-out tracks: 

1. “Bones” – Fantastic Tune!! Can’t say enough about it. Best track on the album and I never get tired of it.
2. “Oberlin” – Has top 40 written all over it.
3. “Transmission” – an excellent example of The Forms’ talent for overlaying and mixing harmonies and textural elements to create a wave that just carries you along. The best part is, you never stop to think about where you’re going, you just enjoy the ride.

The longer form… Are you bored with the typical 4/4 time signature? Do you like the simple elegance and general vibe of Coldplay but wish Chris Martin had more balls? Do you enjoy complex rhythmic harmonies that take you on an almost rapturous journey? Then you need to check out “The Forms.”

Woven vocal melodies, synthesized atmospherics, driving piano and the occasional dirty guitar all punched with an almost tantric rhythm section, The Forms craft a unique and surprisingly purposeful sound.

I’ve been killing myself trying to come up with a creative way to describe this very atmospheric yet decidedly indie-rock based sound and the best I can come up with is – it almost feels like a 30 minute ride on a huge velvet tapestry. (An admittedly hokie description perhaps – but also true.) The Forms sound is warm and inviting; truly comfortable and oddly transportive.

My only cautionary words about this album would be – slightly repetitive. While The Forms are definitely doing interesting things with rhythm, and even more with vocals and harmony, some of their same techniques appear again and again from track to track. This leads to a similarity that might even cause you to periodically ask yourself, “haven’t I heard this song before? …No.” You’ll quickly reply to yourself and continue enjoying the music.

It’s certainly not bad enough for me to recommend against the album – more a cautionary word for the band. These guys are quite talented and have a significant future in front of them – in fact, I’m surprised they haven’t already gained significant main-stream success.

Go get the album and get in on the ground floor before these guys hit the big time and you’re just another wanna-be trying to get on the band wagon! 

 

May 12, 2008 at 7:33 pm Leave a comment


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