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The Break
The Break
Doghouse Records

As a rule, I donít read any press before I review something. Sure, I research the bio and reference the names of the band; Iím a responsible journalist. (Ready-made joke for your use.) From the cover, I was expecting something along the lines of The Godfathers. But as soon as this disc started spinning I had to grab the press packet, as I was sure this had gone to the wrong critic. Hereís what the bio says, "The Break did not re-invent punk rock Ė they just do it better." (Ready-made joke for my use.) Obviously Iím padding this review a bit, because I can sum it up in a few sentences. The Break has absolutely nothing to do with punk. This is mainstream pop-rock. They wouldnít know punk if it ripped the membrane from their nasal passages with a rusty farm implement.

Singer John Waverka sounds like a cross between Counting Crowes and Counting Crowes. Maybe thatís not fair, Iíll give him a little Goo Goo Dolls too. The guy has a decent expressive voice for that style but still his range is limited and uncreative. He stretches lyrics across measures and never really seems a part of it. Sometimes heís left with too many words at the end of the line and heís struggling to get rid of them all. The lyrics are capable of reaching the kids and learning them fancy words like "complicity." Thereís subtle wisdom in "Live A Secret." What are you hiding/Because there is an edge to the angle youíve played against your friends/If all you wanted was some more respect/then why did you keep it all for yourself. Thatís not too shabby, although as wordy as some hack music reviewer.

The music is moderately aggressive rock with acceptable playing and barely enough change to distinguish one song from the next. Nothing at all to grab you by the heart, balls or brain. The swamp stomp in "Aftertaste" is a dead ringer for Collective Soul. And thereís a nice play with dynamic catch and release in "Boxcutter." Other than that, anything they band does to mix it up is undermined by the one-trick vocals. At last, the tenth song, "Wait For The Wheel" brings something different. In what would probably be considered their ballad, the wounded Waverka is forced to make changes. Suddenly thereís more space than words. "The Distraction" is back to the same song they played nine times earlier, with a Mellencamp break.

My advice for The Break is as follows: complicate the music, simplify the words, sink the vocals into the song, replace the word "punk" in your press packet with "radio ready", get an opening slot for Creed, get a buttload of radioplay on stations that attract young girls who read romance novels and Teen Beat. Then weíll have something intelligent on the radio where I wonít ever have to deal with it again.

On a scale of bands whoíve made a career out of writing the same song 100 times: If one is INXS and ten is The Ramones, The Break receives a four- Morrisey

ó Ewan Wadharmi

Track Listing:

  1. Empty
  2. While We Breath
  3. 1.21 Gigawatts
  4. After, Taste
  5. Boxcutter
  6. Profit Motive
  7. Father, Mother, Convict
  8. Strength To Search Some More
  9. Live A Secret
  10. Wait For The Wheel
  11. The Distraction
  12. The Possessed
  13. The Meaning Of Regret

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