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-
ó Ewan Wadharmi
- While We Breath
- 1.21 Gigawatts
- After, Taste
- Profit Motive
- Father, Mother, Convict
- Strength To Search Some More
- Live A Secret
- Wait For The Wheel
- The Distraction
- The Possessed
- The Meaning Of Regret
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