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The Slow Break
Inside The Dark Mountain
Ionik Recordings
www.theslowbreak.com


Very bohemian and raw, The Slow Break creates an original laconic record that mixes folk poetic with garage ambiance that works on so many different levels. I hear so many influences that you wouldn't dream of putting together, like John Cougar Mellencamp and Sonic Youth. But ultimately, these mixtures help elevate the album to nothing short of amazing. Really, to fully appreciate this record you would have to analyze each track for its individual style and content to see how wide a spectrum they traverse. This three-piece really bring a lot to the table as they all pull double duty playing additional keyboards, sax and percussion, and with having alternating lead male and female vocals each track maintains a powerful identity so that no two sound the same. "Sunburn" beautifully captures melodic rambling like Modest Mouse, while "Salenum" alternates between exquisite non-linearity similar to Morphine and The Pixies.

The production, while lacking in the traditional sense of elevating the band, succeeds in heightening the low-fi atmosphere. It is this "unclean" effect that gives you a true grit appeal to the music, carrying you further than simple song craft into an actual feel or vibe. Not much attention is paid to focusing on individual parts, it almost seems like each instrument was recorded at one level across the whole album. Despite this, though, it is a credit to the band and the material that it doesn't seem to matter, and that the songs all retain their uniqueness.

As good as this record is, I worry about its mass appeal. It is an album that you either simply get or don't get. I fear a lot of the mainstream would pass over this as inaccessible - yet they would be missing a true masterpiece. Well that's their loss.

-bishop

Track listing:
1) Thanks, Jasmine
2) Interstate Woman
3) Cowboy Crucifixion
4) Sunburn
5) Salenum
6) The Mistaken Identity Of Man
7) It'll Be Allright
8) Sleepyhead
9) Kick Down The Door
10) Fortunes Of Few
11) Sky Is Falling


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Mike Doughty



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