Review Summary: Sexy and fun - like a dumb girlfriend. Of course, your girlfriend couldn't make sweet trance beats coupled with frenetic screaming. This can fun but fun isn't for everyone.2 of 3 thought this review was well written
Finally, there is an excuse for hardcore kids to get down on the dance floor. Of course, I can't say I've heard many fans of Oh, Sleeper or Underoath saying how they just can't wait for the next great dance record, but let's be honest - most of us need a break from the heavy music we frequent and Breathe Carolina may answer that need. Signing to Rise Records was a strange move for the duo, but perhaps a fitting move. You see, the duo, comprised of Kyle Even and David Shmitt, have that oh, so hot trend of screaming electronica going for them. Somehow, the energy produced (and believe me, it's heavily produced) by Breathe Carolina matches that of the slew of metalcore bands under Rise's belt. That isn't to say that it's by any means "heavy" - I'm strictly attesting to their recorded energy. The music is...different, and, to be honest, this has a specific audience. I don't see fans of standard electronica regularly pumping Breathe Carolina through their treble-heavy speakers and I really doubt the dedicated fans of Catherine would be willing to put up with the bounciness. Instead, the demographic I think Breathe Carolina will appeal to is the people who finish up listening to As I Lay Dying's "An Ocean between Us" and proceed to scroll down their iPods to Chiodos' "Bone Palace Ballet". Those people who have diverse taste who don't necessarily conform to any specific genre will enjoy Breathe Carolina, what with their sweet and sexy-clean vocals followed by agonized death-screams all presided over by a pummeling dance club beat.
The first song, entitled "Introduction", has that light xylophone tapping that you would normally hear in a child's cartoon theme song - then David's sticky sweet vocals kick in and set the tone. To be certain, this song is like the beginning of a car ride with your girlfriend in your dad's crappy car that you're supposed to have home by 10 o'clock sharp - and it's already 11:30. It's a party now, payback later overlay. That's how I would describe "It's Classy, Not Classic's" intro, in a nutshell.
I really have only three qualms with the release; there's not enough screaming or backup vocals (Kyle could stand to back up David a bit more) and the best song of the duo's EP, "Don't Forget: Lock The Doors", is strangely absent. That song has this weird female synth singing (which is either David singing like a girl or, I doubt, an actual girl). That song was pretty much the precipice for what sold me on Breathe Carolina. The crazy screaming with the girly synth vocals and the intense beat made for a great song - a great finale. Thirdly, too many songs were brought over from the EP (five out of the eleven tracks are cross-overs). Kyle and David both have more than enough talent to produce an entirely new lbum, but according to a recent interview, it was Rise's decision - not the duo's. Other than that, this band will be hit or miss for you. They are a MySpace band making their way in the world and five years down the road, you will either be defending them on music forums or pointing out their sell-out status (and I can't wait).
The fourth track, "The Birds and the Bees," is about, surprise, sex. The lyrics sing, "and let me slide into you please baby/and if you're screamin, then I'm screamin too/if you want it let me bring it, let me sneak into your house tonight." The chorus is a sing-along that plays over and over, but it's the type of repetitiveness that won't drive you crazy (like the obscene Britney single "Womanizer"). In fact, it's fun to bob your head to, in complete idiocy. The song has that standard slow-down moment that escalates into an explosive climax of ecstasy - it's what you'd expect. Go ahead and throw on that pair of cheap, plastic Kanye West glasses you picked up from Hot Topic - they fit the mood of "The Birds and the Bees" better than "Texas Is South" or "Memphis Will Be Laid To Waste".
"You Wish," the 9th track and Interlude, is a trance sonic dance beat that sits perfectly where it lies on the album. It's just enough to keep you moving and prepares for the EP crossover "Lovely" which, if you were wondering, is quite lovely. There's an absence of screaming filled in with soft-vocals and it's definitely a second-to-last track. Finishing the album is "Put Some Clothes On." The song title is certainly more forthcoming than the actual song which actually has some interestingly deep lyrics (for Breathe Carolina, I mean). It's a duly fitting end to what I would call a promising first release from a promising new duo. I wouldn't propose to offend the masses of Daft Punk worshipers, but the notion that Breathe Carolina could rise to liking ranks doesn't seem impossible with this being their first release.
To be perfectly honest, it's obvious that a lot of people are not going to enjoy the beats of Breathe Carolina. The random screaming, which seems to take advantage of the rising popularity of post-hardcore, is often unwarranted and will be seen as unnecessary at best. Perhaps if the duo didn't so fervently attempt to do a mesh of the genres as opposed to simply making dance music, their music would be more popularly received. If you can stomach them, good for you, if you can't, no fear - you can always dance to Homework or Neon Bible.