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November 20, 2017


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New Sweet Breath
A Shotgun Down An Avalanche (Big Top Records)

By: Alex Steininger

What happens when you take two bothers from Nebraska and move them to Seattle? Now throw a drummer into the mix, and New Sweet Breath is formed. With their own innovative spin on power pop, these guys are here to show the world that growing up they were part of the Lincoln, Nebraska punk scene.

The CD starts off with "Avalanche." It starts out very hooky, and hooks you from the very first words sung by Graig Markel's vocals. The drumming steadily keeps the beat, while the bass takes everything and adds depth and character to it. But the guitar is the main focus here. Throwing in a bit of noise, distortion, and all the hooks you can imagine, this song is definitely a future single off the album. The hooks drive right to your heart and you'll end up finding a warm spot for them. "Silver Screen Theme" starts out very mellow, and distorted vocals add a special essence to the song. Then it picks up a bit, but once the vocals enter again (still distorted) the song mellows out again. It's a very confused song. Quick, but you still can sense the band didn't know what direction they wanted to take the song. Or maybe that was the goal...total chaos? Who knows. But something just didn't flow right with me on this one. "Favorite Things" almost has a punk influence to it. When the vocals get distorted they sound like an entirely different band. One thing is for sure, these guys can rock when they want to, and be mellow and get your attention when they need to. "When Sunny Gets Blue" finishes out the ten song disc. It sounds like a female voice doing the intro to this track, and throw in a little funky record mixing and a lot of chaos, and you have the opening. Or maybe it's not the opening...is it? You'll be amazed. They actually finished the CD with this track. What a horrid way to end a CD.

Other than a few errors, and the bad judgment of ending the CD with the mysterious track, the CD is pretty decent. These guys sure have a lot of energy, putting out three full lengths (including this one) in as many years. That's quite a feet in itself. These guys deserve applaud for that. But back to this disc. I can only give it a B. It's lacking something, and I feel the band has some more room to grow and expand and find their niche.

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