The acoustic beauty and delicate melodies of The Break Mission have Alpha on a must-listen list for the summer.
The album, released on June 22 by this Brooklyn indie group, includes a mixture of powerful guitar-driven melodies, light vocals with acoustic ambiance and lyrics to melt in.
Surprisingly, the band (with all its talents) only has three men driving it to success. Matt Hershey covers drums and percussion while Ben Lindell masters bass and keyboards and Jeff Knowlton stars with beautiful guitar, soothing piano and his sweet baritone vocals.
It has been awhile since there has been a band on the market worth all the happiness of boy bands of the 90s. These Brooklyn boys have it.
Don’t let the first track, with somber baritone vocals akin to The National’s Matt Berninger, distract from the hopeful mentality of the album. “Matter of Trust” offers an intense introduction to the record with Knowlton’s baritone vocals and Hershey’s light tambourine crashes. It is the only song on the record so accusatory, as Knowlton belts out “you lost them all.”
Resembling tones of the Weepies, “Son” is purely a contrast to “Matter of Trust,” as a light feathering of gentle acoustic chords leads the song with Knowlton pleading, “I know there’s a place for us.” The most personal track on Alpha, it will lead even the grudge-holding to shed a tear or two.
“Back to Normal” seems to just do that with the record, as the first few tracks were focused anthems about unsettlement and turmoil.
The combination of smooth Fleet Foxes-like acoustic tracks, light indie tracks straight out of the Death Cab for Cutie playbook and inspirational rock similar to Band of Horses all make this album one of a kind for this band.
It’s hardly believable, but somehow this rock band has it down.
“Words” is the catchiest album on the song – like a radio hit – with a repetitive chorus and guitar melodies; it’s hard to get out of your head. It leads in like an 80s song fade out with an over-and-over “all the words you say.”
“Fight of Our Lives” has a similar feel to “I Wanna Hear What You’ve Got to Say” by the Subways, except for the British accents and punk attitudes. Aside from this, the groove of the bass and strumming of the acoustic offer a tough-guy track for Alpha.
“All of Your Guns” is reminiscent of Band of Horses and The Shins’ “New Slang” with crying vocals, a steady melody and a shining bass line.
“Porcelain,” near the end of the album is anything but soft and sweet, ironically set apart from the title, the song is pure and strong rock, adding a build-up to the end of the mix.
The album comes to a close with a ‘key ending’ during “The Street,” a clap or two and two minutes of the soothing sound of city background noise, as if you’re walking or riding a subway. Both calming and enchanting, there couldn’t be a better ending to this magnificent record.
The Break Mission is signed to Authentik Records and has tracks available to listen to on MySpace at www.myspace.com/thebreakmission.
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Record Label: Authentik Artists, Inc.
Recommended Tracks: “Matter of Trust” // “Words” // “Alpha” // “Son”
For Fans of: The National, Death Cab for Cutie, Fleet Foxes, The Shins