Breathe In - _From This Day On_
(Bridge Nine, 2001)
by: Adam Lineker (7.5 out of 10)
Beginning with a whine of feedback and a sample, before exploding into some dirty, nasty punk, Breathe In perform with lashings of spite and possess a vocalist who makes Johnny Rotten sound like a choirboy. The lyrics go deeper than the traditional punk concepts of attacking order and authority, verging on tortured poetry that even has gothic shades. The mixing on _From This Day On_ somewhat bizarrely, seems to vary between a strong and rounded sound on tracks like "D-Minus" and then an altogether more unbalanced and weak production with the vocals fading in and out of audibility on tracks such as "Inside Out"; the fact that these mentioned tracks are back to back can only emphasise the contrast even more. Whether this was intentional or not is lost on me, but it creates the impression that this was sloppily recorded in bits at different venues. However, regardless of what instruments are fading in and out randomly, the mix is consistently raw. The bass only becomes prominent when it is doing something different to the guitars; otherwise it merely fills out the sound. Also, Breathe In cannot seem to make up their minds what kind of style they are aiming for, as they vary between the nastiest blasts of dirty punk fury to sneering their way through Sum'-'Day-'182 friendly tunes, even including vocal harmonies on such tracks; it's just performed in a more dirty and aggressive fashion than the aforementioned pop bands. In the middle of all this we get some emotive and powerful works with a more melodic edge; musically, these are the better tracks. "Doppler Effect" stands out the most, showcasing how emotive this band can be as it explores some dark chord progressions. Breathe In have a lot more feeling and innards than many of the bands that usually compose songs of this style. However, _From This Day On_ seems to stutter along as an album, and although it maintains interest in the offered variety and the flashes of tortured inspiration, it still lacks a sense of all-round solidity. As the album ends it feels like it didn't get to where it was going, leaving too many loose ends along the way. I guess Breathe In don't want to make you comfortable by tidying up for you. Nevertheless, _From This Day On_ offers some strong material and an enjoyable, spiteful performance.

(article published 1/9/2002)

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