Review Summary: And a Few to Break has created a masterpiece on their first try with their debut album "Procession".And a Few to Break-Procession
At the Drive-In was a great band. They wrote unique catchy punk songs that wouldn't have worked if they were done by anyone else. The two singers were tone-deaf, and it sounds like everyone is playing something different. They are one of the most influential bands of the past ten years and have set the standards for a new generation of post-hardcore bands.
And a Few to Break is a band hailing from San Francisco that has shattered those standards with their debut album, “Procession“. They manage to mold the epic-ness of post-rock, the thrashing emotion of post-hardcore and punk, the odd time signatures of math-rock and the sincerity of folk into a sound that is all their own. “Procession” is a seamless album, with the last three tracks uniting as a single title track with a single theme: “Death becomes you when it takes your love and makes you its messenger”. The songs are able to differ from one another without making the album seem inconsistent. All of this makes for a level of maturity not found on most debut albums.
The standout performance of the album is by the vocalist, who sounds like Cedric Bixler in At the Drive-In after some voice lessons from Aaron Weiss. His heartfelt cries and raw yelling would make Satan cry. In songs such as “My Eyes Are Left Salted”, the vocals don’t come in until the latter portion of the song, as a climax to a steadily crescendoing instrumental “intro” in a very post-rock-like fashion. This formula works very well for the band, making the listener even more interested in the music. The shout-along gang vocals in certain sections are extremely catchy and convey the song’s general mood well. The band is able to establish a groove very well (especially with Paul Slack, the virtuosic bassist also of the Sacramento math rock drum n’ bass duo SWIMS) which adds to the catchiness and makes the songs more memorable.
And a Few to Break are a gem hidden in the bushes of the lately stagnant genre that is post-hardcore. They have crafted a unique sound by incorporating a wide variety of influences into their music, a lot like those skinny afro-ed kids from El Paso did ten or so years ago. With a little more popularity, And a Few to Break can and will become the next big thing in experimental punk music.