Panda & Angel

On their first release for Jade Tree, Seattle’s PANDA & ANGEL paints a passively angst-filled portrait of lovelorn, heartache and loneliness. PANDA & ANGEL’s eponymous, introductory EP combines the sedated dissonance of early LOW and CHAN MARSHALL (Cat Power) with the melancholy-filled distortion of MY BLOODY VALENTINE and the stark truth of PJ HARVEY. Anchored by the haunting and hypnotic voice of Carrie Murphy (TOUCHDOWN EAGLE), Panda & Angel (JT1114) offers a heavy-hearted perspective on losing one’s way and ultimately starting anew. The end result is a poignant memoir of melancholic regret, cathartic revelations and vibrant but tempered pop orchestrations.

All music and words by Panda & Angel
Recorded and mixed by Panda & Angel and Kelly Campbell
at Avast and in their living room
mastered by ed brooks at RFI

Photographs by Molly Landreth
Design by Meg Cummins

c & p Jade Tree 2006 / JT1114
Carrie Murphy . vocals, guitar
Josh Wackerly . guitar, electronics
Kara Kikuchi . keyboards, samples
Laura Enderle . bass, samples
Zaun Zehner . drums, electronics
Holly ashinhurst . cello . tracks 4 and 6
penny Chilton . saw . track 5

1. Mexico
2. Dangerous
3. China
4. Ohio December 24th
5. Following the Death of Her
6. A Thousand Whispers

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

Breather Resist hail from Louisville, Kentucky, and can be compared to Botch, Converge, Deadguy and Kiss It Goodbye. Yes, here we have some pretty chaotic, almost unremitting hardcore goodness. Guitars provide occasional melody, a small dose of technicality and lots of noise. The drums and bass form a tight rhythm section, the former negotiating time changes with ease, the latter providing unstoppable momentum. Above this larynx shredding-screeches, and occasionally more emo orientated recitations are highly effective. Charmer bleeds aggression, loathing and antipathy towards?°¦ well, a lot of stuff; this band is fucked off. Moments of melody are welcome, and the expect discords are also effective. Occasional quieter interludes provide some respite, but this is always short-lived.

Breather Resist don’t play metal, yet Charmer still pummels the listener into submission very effectively. For open minded metalheads this is well worth checking out, because anyone that says it’s not heavy is lying – it is heavy, and if you like metal, you may well like this. Recommended for hardcore and math fans.

7/10

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

OUR RATING – 8 /10

I’ve been beaten and dragged. Before I go any further, let me make it clear that I didn’t ask to be hit in my face and chest and then pulled through the streets by a rusty ox-cart. It just happened. Breather Resist’s newest effort, Charmer, arrived in my mail.

Deadguy meets Karp meets Kurt Ballou. Aggressive, heavy, and groove-laden. Bass that keeps the song firmly on-track while the guitar fights someone or something. Maybe I’m not built for this because I cover my ears during movie gunfights and this record is like falling into a war zone. Often the instruments are tripping over themselves to see who can hit you first. Everyone is in attack-mode. Doubtlessly, many listeners are into that. But to this reviewer, Breather Resist are actually at their best when embracing their less-pummeling side. There are only so many punches you can take before they all feel the same.

I believe they swiped their moniker from the Hoover song of the same name, and it feels like that isn’t the only homage paid to that DC band and their contemporaries. The less brutal songwriting on this album is obviously informed by post-punk and 90′s emo. Heroin and Drive Like Jehu are clawing just below the surface of this album, waiting to be freed from the prison-riot happening around them. It’s those voices from the grave that make this album worth the occasional redundancies that generally can’t be helped when making a record this heavy.

The lyrics are as confrontational and aggressive as the music, but not particularly insightful or relatable to this reviewer. The album artwork is easily the best I’ve seen this year and probably deserves its own review in a trade magazine for design. The production work is masterful and manages teeth-rattling heaviness while treating each instrument with care.

Bottom Line: The tasteless will gravitate to this record because it is genuinely heavy, and that’s all they care about. However, hardcore punk fans with refined palates will embrace this record for what it is: an honor-student with brass knuckles. As a matter of taste, I could’ve used even more finesse and less beating with a shovel, but even I can’t deny that this is the highest-quality shovel beating around. It may not be my record-of-the-year but I guarantee it’s the album some people have been waiting all year for.

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

First, allow me to get this out of the way: Jesus Lizard Jesus Lizard Jesus Lizard. As enjoyable and righteously fierce as Breather Resist are, they start and end with the Jesus Lizard. Caveat listener– if you’re uncomfortable with a group proudly wearing a seminal predecessor’s influence on their sleeve, then Alt-Tab yourself out of this browser window and give your (hopefully) well-worn copies of Liar and Goat and Bang another go-around. On the other hand, if you’re game to hear a group gamely reinvent the Judas Cradle, then you could do worse than to give these kids a chance.

So, yeah, it’s pretty clear guitarist Evan Patterson holds Duane Denison in high regard. The way Patterson’s winding, nauseous leads (cf. his careening string-bending in "Amphetamine Praise") slither around the shredded hoarse vocals and careen off of the stiff yet febrile rhythm section, one can’t help but notice the similarities. Not that this is a bad thing– Patterson should take pride in being able to both crunch numbers (as in the gear-shifting "Honest to God") and perform simple math (such as the spacious noodling introducing "Loose Lipped Error") with such violent grace.

Charmer takes little time to get up to speed. The introductory track, "An Insomniac’s Complexion", opens with three quick hits, pauses for a moment atop a bed of squealing feedback, and then begins thrashing. The group can squeeze five minutes’ worth of song into 120 seconds ("A Passing Glance"), stretch their hyper kinetic pummeling out to comfortably fit a six-minute frame ("Amphetamine Praise"), and switch seamlessly between pensive throbbing and full-on fury without breaking stride. (Take your pick from any of the 11 tracks; I’ll stand behind the aforementioned opener.)

Though the sturm and drang the group regularly summons doesn’t fail to impress, the quieter moments sprinkled sparingly throughout– the guitar/trumpet duet that introduces "As Far as Goodbyes Go", the two minutes of relative quiet at the start of "Loose Lipped Error" slowly ratcheting the level of tension, and the scream at the end of the CD that morphs into what sounds like a sped-up bagpipe track digitally castrated– might be more impressive. It’s easy to just hit the one note and hold it; it takes skill and confidence to try different tacts, and it’s a whole different proposition to try these sorts of changes at the speeds Breather Resist achieve.

And, lest we forget, while the band grinds their way through these taut catharses, there’s vocalist Steven Sindoni riding the wave and doing his best to splay his vocal chords through volume and will. If you can actually make out any words he’s screaming, then kudos to you– it’s not as if Sindoni offers any help. The few moments of vocal clarity I found were quickly subsumed and subdued. Granted, in the wake of a glorious racket such as the stuff Breather Resist concoct, it’s more important to get across to the listener the unfettered aggression and fury of the music as a whole than to be implicitly understood. Breather Resist send that message out loud and clear. And I do mean loud.
7.4

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

Breather Resist seem to be journey men with releasing albums. They have put out EP’s and LP’s on various labels for the past 2 years. They have released music on Initial, Deathwish, Magic Bullet, Nova, Level Plane and now Jade Tree. Their newest effort, "Charmer", is a statement for the "metalcore" scene. It’s original and just plain good. It’s reminiscent of Coalesce and at times Dillenger Escape Plan. Breather Resist features Evan Patterson of Black Cross/National Acrobat.

"Charmer" is bass filled and gritty but at the same time it’s very melodic. It’s not quite as good as Coalesce but at least there isn’t some guy singing in a whiney high pitched voice trying to harmonize with the rest of the music. "Charmer" is a great album and another positive notch in Jade Tree’s belt.

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

This is an incredible time in music. Instead of bands trying to show their influence from one band, music has now become a challenge to see who can mix different styles together in a way that no one has before. Enter Breather Resist. The reason I like this album so much is because of their obvious liking for The Jesus Lizard. In my opinion, The Jesus Lizard was on of the best bands to ever come out, but they have never received the credit, and attention, they disserved. It’s great when a band, such as Breather Resist, shows that The Jesus Lizard has not gone unnoticed. Of course, though, there are other styles on this album, but it all is run through the noise barrier that was established by The Jesus Lizard.

Breather Resist, from Louisville, KY, has already released an EP on Deathwish Inc., as well as several splits and seven inches, but "Charmer" is their debut full length. There are some really interesting things happening on "Charmer". First off, Breather Resist changes from chaotic Converge style parts into the sonic grooves of The Jesus Lizard so flawlessly that it shows just how connected the two styles are. Second, they make such seamless, but difficult, time changes that it takes a second for it to sink in that it just happened. Add in the few little noise breaks and effects, and "Charmer" ends up being a great album that pays tribute to the forefathers and lets them know that the next generation is here to carry the torch.

Key Tracks: "As Far As Goodbyes Go," "Loose Lipped Error"

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

Hailing from the ever-thriving Louisville hardcore scene, come Breather Resist, an audio assault that will pummel even the hardest of heavy music connoisseurs. If you were left feeling somewhat empty handed by the latest offering from Converge, then this might just be the record to give you the pick me up you’re so desperately looking for. Produced by Kurt Ballou (Converge) and showcasing members from other notable Louisville acts such as The National Acrobat and Black Cross, Breather Resist deliver a debut full length that will capture you with darkly introspective lyrics, throbbing distorted bass and violently discordant guitars. The rhythms are unique without being too tech, and overall every element compliments another in this brash mess of distortion. The layout is exceptionally original and the recording crystal clear, without sounding over produced. If more bands were as sincere and unrelenting as this, the “underground” would have less to be ashamed of. This is a band that will not leave you for bigger and brighter things. The BR boys are real people making real music.
9 out of 10

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

Breather Resist always seems to impress me. Their last record, “Only in the Morning”, definitely set-up where “Charmer” now takes a listener. Without losing a drop of aggressiveness, their debut Jade Tree release brings about a certain lost structural element that inherently thrusts emotion onto a listener. This Kentucky foursome also pays homage to their region with a use of heavily chaotic, yet still translatable, southern guitar licks (ala: parts of “A Social Worker’s Nightmare”). While some people feel that this genre of rock’n’roll, chaotic hardcore is slowly being diluted by the number of scene-point seeking teens picking up instruments, Breather Resist still holds strong as a contender. “Charmer” plays out like a climax to some brawl that was started over something as simple as a sweater or some cheese. Listen for yourself kids! You’ll be able to steal ideas left and right!

Side-note: Possibly some of the best artwork I have seen in recent years; congratulations to their artist choice ?°¦ extremely talented.

Breather Resist Saturday, November 13, the Construct, 303-292-2234.

Can’t take one more moment of election post-mortem? Try this simple diversion. Pull out your favorite Dillinger Escape Plan, Jesus Lizard and Entombed CDs and carefully break them into tiny shards. Chew and swallow. Then start singing some of those dark, self-loathing lyrics you’ve been working on during commercials. The result will sound something like Breather Resist, Louisville, Kentucky’s relentlessly brutal hardcore punks. While the violent bobbing, weaving and lunging of guitarist Evan Patterson, bassist Nick Thieneman and drummer Geoff Paton sounds like Pavement’s lost black-metal album, Steve Sindoni’s larynx-shredding vocals obscure surprisingly sensitive and introspective lyrics. Ferocious, unsettling and uncompromising, Breather Resist rises like smoke from the Ohio River to breathe life — and death — into a numb and complacent world. Go see this band. You’ll feel better.

Breather Resist

Can’t take one more moment of election post-mortem? Try this simple diversion. Pull out your favorite Dillinger Escape Plan, Jesus Lizard and Entombed CDs and carefully break them into tiny shards. Chew and swallow. Then start singing some of those dark, self-loathing lyrics you’ve been working on during commercials. The result will sound something like Breather Resist, Louisville, Kentucky’s relentlessly brutal hardcore punks. While the violent bobbing, weaving and lunging of guitarist Evan Patterson, bassist Nick Thieneman and drummer Geoff Paton sounds like Pavement’s lost black-metal album, Steve Sindoni’s larynx-shredding vocals obscure surprisingly sensitive and introspective lyrics. Ferocious, unsettling and uncompromising, Breather Resist rises like smoke from the Ohio River to breathe life — and death — into a numb and complacent world. Go see this band. You’ll feel better.

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

In 2002 a project unlike none other took form. Louisville, Kentucky was the first to be ravaged by this dynamic quartet; the world is next.

Engulfing you in a plethora of brutal screams and face to the floor chaos, Breather Resist release unto you "Charmer", their much due full length on their newly signed label; Jade Tree. Almost instantaneously taking off where "Only in the Morning" left off, Breather Resist is quick to introduce those of you who haven’t been acquainted just yet.

Laying things out quicker than a bad drug deal about to go down you find yourself wrapped around Steven Sindoni’s pulverizing vocals and emanating, full out guitars in An Insomniac’s Complexion. Taking nothing for granted, the onslaught of mayhem only ensues further as your torn a new one with both A Social Worker’s Nightmare and Midas In Reverse. Over the course of the next few tracks Breather Resist implement a style few and far between, not only that but they, unlike many bands challenge the genre with such tracks as As Far As Goodbyes that consist of a lulling introduction and a cut-throat dive into a chaotic meltdown of furious guitars and fierce screams. The nebulous lull returns again in Loose Lipped Error where the band portray another creative side with a mixture of harsh bass lines and elaborate drumming, Kurt Ballou’s flair for producing is quite evident in this track.

Wrapping things up with Amphetamine Praise and Astigmatism, Breather Resist leave you basking in the hopes that their next album progresses only farther than apparent in Charmer. Aside from a few flourishing, but less than genre challenging songs, Charmer leaves you in the wake that maybe; just maybe the "noisecore" genre will take a step in the right direction.

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

Breather Resist always seems to impress me. Their last record, “Only in the Morning”, definitely set-up where “Charmer” now takes a listener. Without losing a drop of aggressiveness, their debut Jade Tree release brings about a certain lost structural element that inherently thrusts emotion onto a listener. This Kentucky foursome also pays homage to their region with a use of heavily chaotic, yet still translatable, southern guitar licks (ala: parts of “A Social Worker’s Nightmare”). While some people feel that this genre of rock’n’roll, chaotic hardcore is slowly being diluted by the number of scene-point seeking teens picking up instruments, Breather Resist still holds strong as a contender. “Charmer” plays out like a climax to some brawl that was started over something as simple as a sweater or some cheese. Listen for yourself kids! You’ll be able to steal ideas left and right!

Side-note: Possibly some of the best artwork I have seen in recent years; congratulations to their artist choice ?°¦ extremely talented.

Evan From Breather Resist

I was disappointed in early September, when I found out that a Breather Resist show was cancelled in Worcester. To my luck, they played Providence in October, but back surgery recovery kept me from it. James went to do the interview, but Evan’s cell phone was shot, meaning that he couldn’t contact him. James was a dollar short to get into the show, so he went home. Breather Resist is a great live band with a great new album, Charmer, and I give props to David at Jade Tree for sending the interview to Evan, and to Evan for replying so quickly with some really great answers..

1. Introduce yourself…

My name is Evan and I play guitar in Breather Resist.

2. Why is Jade Tree a good choice for you guys?

Jade Tree is a good choice for any band. I think maybe you should ask them why Breather is a good choice for the label. HAHA! Seriously, they have always been One of the best independent record labels. Now that we are actually friends with Everyone who helps run things and the bands. We really feel like we are a part of family. They understand what we are trying to do musically, lyrically, and Everything else in between.

3. How is Jade Tree different from Deathwish as a label (from what you’ve seen)?

Deathwish is a great label. Without our friends there supporting us and releasing our first EP we would be were we are now. We aren’t fans of a lot of the bands on Deathwish, but that doesn’t discredit them or the label. Nothing they release is garbage; it’s more like we just aren’t into it. Now that we have a record on Jade Tree we are getting noticed by a entirely different crowd and people who never even new we existed.

4. Touring is…

Touring is very important for us right now because our record just came out. Our ultimate goal is to be able to find as many people as possible to share and enjoy our music, but it is really hard. There are so many bands touring and it’s hard to try to make your own identity with out playing with the larger bands in our genre. I don’t want to take some of some of someone else’s fame. We want to work hard and play with bands that have no egos. So many bands can’t go out on tour on their own and survive. They only do big support tours and no one really cares or connects with a band if they don’t do their own tour. We might do a support tour here and there, but we are always going to come back through on our own.

5. About how long does it take you to write a song?

Songs can take a few months to piece together so that we are all happy, but we honestly write songs really fast. We are actually taking a break from writing. It’s kind of funny because I always hear bands say "we are taking a break to write," but we are kind of the opposite. Most of our favorite songs are the ones we wrote the fastest.

6. Do you think that there is a big difference if someone watches you guys live as opposed to listening to your record?

There is a huge difference between us live and recorded. Sometimes certain parts of listening to songs can’t be understood until seeing us live. The amount of energy that we all put into playing a show is also extremely important. What a recording is made to do is document the energy and sounds of our band in the best possible way. They you can take a small piece of what we are doing home with you to possibly enjoy on a regular basis.

7. I saw you guys play Providence sometime in 03 and about five people were watching you. About 30 people were up front watching you when you played Providence in February of 04. Have you noticed growing crowds as you continue to tour?

That is a perfect example of if we keep on working hard people will take note and look deeper into what we are doing. What has become really important to us as a band is to play the states and cities that the average band avoids. Maybe some band draws 300 people in Baltimore, but in Delaware they can only draw 100. They decide not to ever play there again… that is lame. Playing music should be about struggling to some degree. I wish we could find the more popular local bands in every city that doesn’t get many shows and team up with them to try to bring some sort of community through music in there lives. We just played to about 80 people in Providence and we had a lot of people asked us when we are coming back.

8. Is Breather Resist a full time band?

Yes.

9. Put these in order of importance: Money, Family, Fun, Growth, Stability.

This is kind of strange, but oh well… Stability, Family, Growth, Fun, and money being least important.

10. Name one album, besides your own, that you think all kids should own.

This is hard because there is always a few that I am obsessing over at all times. I am going to have to go with the Jesus Lizard’s GOAT.

11. Are you going to vote in this upcoming election?

Yes, as everyone should be because we have to get that idiot out of office before we are paying more for it then we already are.

12. Final comments…

Thanks for being interested.

Breather Resist: Punk stamina

Punk rock seems immune to market forces when it comes to concerts. Most punk bands price their shows considerably lower than their alternative rock counterparts. Even when someone like Morrissey charges $35 for a show–about $25 less than the average cost of a concert ticket this year–it’s still considered an outrage by those who live by the Ian MacKaye philosophy of tour economics.

"That’s the great thing about punk rock," says Evan Patterson of the Louisville, Ky., quartet Breather Resist. "You can go to shows for a reasonable amount money, and whether it’s good or bad, you get your money’s worth."

Patterson knows a thing or two about gigs. His two-year-old band tours relentlessly, sometimes playing almost two weeks without a day off and canceling shows only when it’s absolutely imperative. It stays focused while on the road, often sticking to the same set list throughout a tour leg, and withholding from writing and recording until it returns home. And he’s been attending shows since the fifth grade.

"When I was 11, I saw my first show," says Patterson. "I saw the light and walked toward it. It’s always been what I want to do. I played guitar when I was 15. When I started going to shows, they were bad, but every month or so, there would be one really great show. That really influenced me and kept me wholeheartedly into it."

You can imagine Breather Resist having the same effect on some punk rock newbie. Its music–a distinctive interpretation of hardcore, laced with punk and metal–is passionately delivered. It conveys particular moods and attitudes, without falling into self-pity or over-the-top rage. And while the songs themselves sometimes meander, often subverting conventional structures and rhythms several times within the same track, its lyrical narrative is largely straightforward. Singer Steven Sindoni shrieks and screeches equal vehemence toward enemies and lovers, untrustworthy strangers and family members–the kind of stuff usually screamed back by the stage-storming youngsters at the shows.

Much of this–sans the mosh pit–can be experienced on the band’s recently released debut full-length, Charmer. Produced by venerable hardcore figure Kurt Ballou, who plays guitar for Converge and has worked with underground faves Cave In and Vegas act Curl Up and Die, the album espouses a chaos where new chord progressions and time signatures are never seen coming, though carefully arranged by the band and Ballou. This reflects the spontaneity the band seemed to embrace in rehearsals and the recording studio; even the musicians were surprised with the results once the record was completed.

"We didn’t set out to write a song with 11 songs that sound like this," says Patterson. "Some of my favorite songs on the album we wrote in one or two practices. When we started out, we wanted to be technical, and I think that will always be there. But, not to sound cheesy, it was more an organic approach to writing music. That really shines through with the record. There’s no tension of the songs. We never write songs to please [someone]. That never crosses my mind."

Nor does the style of the music. Breather Resist may thrive among the hardcore community, but the association isn’t necessarily premeditated. This is where comparisons to nonconformist ’90s alt-rock act Jesus Lizard make sense.

"I think our band has a lot more to offer, as opposed to just being noisy or a heavy band," he says. "With [Charmer], it started to touch more on the side of that kind of music, which is always been an influence. I’ve been in lots of bands, and certain people play certain music together. I think whatever music we wanted to play, we could incorporate it into this band. Who know what songs we’ll have for the next record, or what sound we’ll have."

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

Breather Resist reminds me of Converge or another hardcore band that isbrutal but not metal. Maybe Converge is metal. Well anyway, Breather Resist
is hardcore/punk but not metal. It is refreshing to listen to heavy music that isn’t all jud jud and meedely meedely solo’s. I like that stuff too but Breather Resist is more of a mix between Botch and These Arms Are
Snakes. I let a few of my friends hear this record and they really liked the music but didn’t like the vocals. I really don’t like a lot of throaty vocals and these are a bit throaty but not too much so I still like them.
These guys prefer to be called punk and one of the best things about this band for me is this statement that was in the write up that came with the cd – "While some may lump us into being a hardcore bans, I think we’re more
punk rock in the sense that all truly independent music is punk rock, as opposed to one sound?°? having a trademark on the term. When most people think of punk they tend to think of Rancid or one of those bands, but I think the term is more about attitude and ethics." I really like this statement. It was delivered by Evan Patterson and he is the guitarist. He used to play
guitar for national Acrobat, and Black Cross. I liked those two bands but I think that Breather Resist is way better.
8/10

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

By now, there is no excuse if you haven’t at least heard of Breather Resist. After a 7 inch and an incredible full length, Only in the Morning, the band went on to do a spilt with none other than the master minds of Suicide Note. If those releases weren’t reason enough to check out Breather Resist, Charmer is sure to draw you in.

Charmer takes the band’s previous works and expands on them. The album screams to a start and doesn’t stop till its completion. Breather Resist not only performs metalcore to its fullest, they seem to be attempting to redefine it. Faster and more brutal than any release I’ve heard this year, Charmer is in fact, a pure joy. Breather Resist breathe new life into metalcore, in the most impressive way since Burnt By the Sun released The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good.

With an opening track like "A Insomniac’s Complexion" the band hooks the listener from the very start, and continues to live up to the energy and brutality of the first track, throughout the album’s entirety. The album’s third track "Midas In Reverse" has it’s slower, yet brutal parts, but "Honest to God" brings the album right back up to speed. "As Far as Goodbyes Go" is easily one of my favorite tracks on the album, and shows the variety and depth of the band’s style.

Breather Resist has seemingly put out the most artistic vision of metalcore I’ve heard since Curl Up and Die’s double EP last year, and the most impressive quality of Breather Resist is that even though they have their obvious immediate influences, the contents of the music speaks for itself, and proves the band to be a rarity, a metalcore band going towards artistic vision rather than the band wagon.

Charmer lives up to it’s title, and shows Breather Resist to be an important entity in the music world, as one of the most unique act on today’s scene. I highly enjoyed this album and recommend it to any open minded individual.

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

The first few seconds of this record sound like you’ve stumbled across a passionate, forbidden rite ceremony, when a fierce and feverous applause merges into a drum and vocal intro that coalesces with math-y, eccentric riffs that follow in an unstoppable fury. It’s the same pummelling Botch approach that almost every pseudo-peculiar band of this era (most notably Every Time I Die) have exploited to their advantage. Breather Resist are quick to stray from the contemporary derivative stereotype and it is immediately obvious they’ve captured a different essence within the familiar guitar work. Kurt Ballou (Converge) produced the recording, creating a doom-driven dissonance, using a muddy yet crisp sound to generate a punishing and heavy ambiance. This four-piece from Louisville, Kentucky adventure through technical guitar debauchery and excel with something most bands yearn for: a solid rhythm section. Clever, imaginative bass lines are maintained atop particularly steadfast drumming. There are straight-up rock’n’roll elements worthy of dance, pensive and dramatic moments worthy of reflection, but most of all, face melting, bone crushing, heretical metal that is simply irresistible.

How do you think this album has progressed from the last? Guitarist Evan Patterson: It’s not just us writing extremely heavy songs, we’ve touched more on sounds and more of our influences helped us out on this record. I think on the last record it was more to write an incredibly brutal record and pummelling all the way through and this one we wanted to get a little more personal with the songs and still incorporate. There’s a song we have trombone on, there’s a song where there’s whistling — just a few of the ideas we got in the studio.

You’ve had two splits on other labels this year, what made you choose Jade Tree for the full-length? I think it’s because of their reputation for treating bands well. They’ve always been a label I looked up to since I first started. They do 50/50 profit sharing with the bands. I love listening to heavy music and playing some, and I feel like if we’re on a label we’re gonna be the heaviest band and I feel like it can widen our audience. You know, maybe someone will hear something that might open people up to a whole different kind of music they’d never heard of.

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

Jade Tree is starting to hit the hard stuff – the musical equivalent of grain alcohol, the kind that burns in your throat like battery acid. Breather Resist is a screamo outfit from Louisville, Kentucky that’s so loud it makes the Blood Brothers run for cover. The record label that brought you the bleak acoustic work of Pedro The Lion and the warm, fuzzy emo of The Promise Ring now introduces a reasonable facsimile of the Jesus Lizard; only instead of the demented story-telling vocals of David Yow, we get interminable yelling and screeching.

It’s too bad the vocals, or what passes for them are so far up front in the mix. My philosophy: if you care so little about them – and the lyrics – that all you do is scream unintelligibly, bury them. They’re no good to anyone. Pare back on the words and take a seat, Steven Sindoni. Let the dense, turbulent guitar work of Evan Patterson — you may know him from the National Acrobat and Black Cross — seethe and roar, like in "An Insomniac’s Complexion" or "Honest To God", two wasp nests of sound so frenzied you feel like you’re in a riot. Or, sit and watch Patterson’s Allow for the powerful squat thrusts of Nick Thieneman’s bass to heave and groan, like in "A Social Worker’s Nightmare" or the Shiner-esque "As Far As Goodbyes Go." And quit smothering the quick-change time signatures and heavy, ebb-and-flow dynamics, especially in the titanic, Dead Meadow-like "Amphetamine Praise", that kept me surprised and riveted.

There is a pattern to Breather Resist’s brand of hardcore mayhem that emerges after a while, and that routine wears on you. Often, at the beginning, is chaos: hard-charging guitar gathers steam and mauls you like a lion. The drums fly apart like parts of a machine that’s been stressed for so long, it simply explodes. All the while, the bass pulverizes you like a trash compactor. Then, suddenly, Patterson comes riding in from out of nowhere – like some cowboy – and lassos this raging beast, calming it by throwing thick blankets of power chords over its back. It still makes for interesting music, but once you’ve figured it out, it loses some of its power to amaze.

But that’s small potatoes. The real problem here is the vocals. You know how some hardcore singers actually sing from time to time, maybe when the beat drops out, and you see the actual eye of the storm. That’s a good time to change things up, to stop the screaming and let loose with a sinister whisper or something raspy. Study what Mike Patton does. Or, better yet, hire yourself a female singer, like Isis does, to add haunting, soothing textures. But, that’s not Breather Resist.

I understand that you have to shout to be heard above the raucous din. Maybe the problem is that I have a fundamental misunderstanding of the genre – it is called screamo, after all. Maybe the reason why the Blood Brothers’ popularity is on the rise is because people want to hear vocals that sound like their being rammed through a wood chipper – chords being shredded like exculpatory files at Enron. I guess I’m not one of them.

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

Loisville, KY’s Breather Resist have been bubbling right under the wide spread consciousness for a little while now. The four piece has been winning over audiences with rowdy performances from coast to coast. And now, in a move that had everyone saying “wha?”, the band signed to Jade Tree. Now, this isn’t the first heavy band that Jade Tree has worked with, but Breather Resist is the kind of band you would think would be more comfortable on Level-Plane or even Robotic Empire. But here we are?°¦ Charmer has been released by the Delaware powerhouse of a label.

Recorded by all around busy guy Kurt Ballou, Charmer is full of menacingly huge riffs that seem to burst your speakers in all of their fuzzed out glory (a gift Ballou bestows on most of the bands he records). The drums and bass punch through the harsh guitar tone with powerful clarity. The vocals of Steven Sindoni sound as though they are being ripped from his throat in a fit of desperation.

?°¦Here is the problem?°¦ I’ve heard this before.

Sure they can site bands like Deadguy as a reference point. Sure other reviews can liken them to Kiss It Goodbye, but there is one little thing everyone seems to be glossing over. This is almost a carbon copy of Botch.

I don’t know if everyone else has been dancing around it because they were happy that they had something to fill that void, but this is just a continuation of Botch. Now, before you misconstrue this into something negative, it’s not. I loved Botch, I know plenty of people who did. And when they decided to toss in the towel, a huge gaping wound was left in the hardcore scene?°¦ ask anyone. It’s just that, well not until now, no one has really attempted the Botch sound. The full, tricky guitar lines back by amazing rhythm section, all fronted by an intimidating, yet wholly engaging, voice.

Now, it’s not a note by note copycat, I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. But, when a review is basically a list of references, I thought I would just make it easy on you. If you miss Botch, this will fill in where they left off.

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

When the applause came on five seconds into Charmer, the first full length by Louisville’s Breather Resist, my heart sank. Their last amazing EP, Only in The Morning, on Deathwish Inc., had been bookended by the same recorded cheers, cheers I had grown to hate while intensely loving that EP.  I think Breather Resist knew that I would sit though that quick sample because they knew I knew just how amazing the rest of the album would be. It’s like when the Locust drones on and on for a few minutes before launching into a song, they just want to see how much the audience will put up with to get to the good stuff. Charmer is eleven tracks of the good stuff, the huge heavy crush-core ala Norma Jean or a more bluntly bludgeoning Converge. The Converge influence is especially relevant given that Breather Resist recorded Charmer with Kurt Ballou at his God City Studios.  Expect a record that sits on the high end of the Richter scale (it could level a small town) but that still has some nasty A Life Once Lost time sig changes. As an added bonus, continuing in the vein of Only In The Morning, Charmer has die cut, mind blowing packaging. If you also take into consideration that coffin shaped single, Breather Resist has had some of the best packaging in recent memory. I’m going to go get their surgical mask logo tattooed on my face. That is, if I had a face.
5 Stars

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

More shit-hot, cerebral, spindly mathcore from our great ol’ U.S. of A., Breather Resist have really built up a strong catalog of full-lengths and splits within a few short years. To invoke the usual roll call of DEP, Converge, Botch, Drowningman, et al., in describing the music of newer arrivals such as this might qualify as lazy journalism, but either the references hold up or I am Stepin Fetchit. Displaying the angular riffs, stop-start dynamics, oblique but personal lyrical grist, open-ended song structures and brilliant, unconventional cover artwork of the aforementioned bands, Breather Resist come off as more colloquially melodic and rocking than any of them barring Drowningman. They can be subtle at times, as in the openings to “As Far as Goodbyes Go” and “Loose Lipped Error” which drone and strum meaningfully before escalating to equally fine Unsane-like crescendos, and quite batty at other moments. Apparently, the seemingly incongruous leap to the emo-heavy Jade Tree hasn’t tempered their edge a bit. Eleven songs, all great and likely to go down a storm live. Formerly on Deathwish Inc and currently produced by Kurt Ballou; my Converge analogy rings true, kids.

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

When you look back a few years, it is not hard to see how hardcore and heavy music has changed in leaps rather than skips. You look at how style, both musically and aesthetically has changed and it is almost too much to comprehend when looking at things on a larger scale. Granted, bands like Earth Crisis and Strife have very little in common with bands of today like Atreyu and Eighteen Visions besides some general similarities, but at the same time, hardcore thrives with an undercurrent of independent bands that are making sure you can still do things the old fashioned way.

Breather Resist exist in that fertile music community of Louisville, Kentucky; where great bands such as Slint, Falling Forward, Endpoint and Elliot have all called home. Some having created some of the most passionate, diverse music around. Breather Resist themselves have a rich history for being a relatively new band. It is not every day that Jade Tree decides to release a stereotypically “heavy” release, but this band obviously sparked their interest; boasting members of The National Acrobat and Black Cross (not to mention the devastating music that they create).

This band just does everything right, from their look to their songs it how it all cohesively comes together in a manner that many bands only wish they could duplicate. With this full length, Breather Resist have created one of the best, if not the best, hardcore records to come out this year. Ugly, desperate and pulverizing, Charmer showcases that even songs that are loud and distorted can be pieced together to make songs rather than noise; which is what most would characterize this as. It hits hard, leaves a mark and would make bands like Deadguy even reconsider reforming to tour with this powerhouse. If you yearn for the days of bands booking their own tours and making enough money to get back out on the road, then listen to only one record this year: Charmer.

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

My new favorite band, Breather Resist, is from Louisville, Kentucky–a lush, mossy land of Derby Week hoopla, good mint juleps, and Civil War ghosts. Their sound is the cramped, confused, and tangled soul of Southern American teenage freaked-out-ness. It’s the inner holy-shit-why-am-I-even-alive hormonal turmoil busting the dam and flooding the valley with brutal, passionate hardcore battened down by two-ton speed metal riffs and singer Steve Sindoni closing his eyes, throwing his ratty head back, and losing his mind on the club floor. Songs brood slow and sludgy, shuddering into a grind before speeding up and helter-skeltering away, but then–what’s this?–suddenly we’re crawling along in a Pink Floyd psyche shuffle, high seagull cries of feedback, and "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" IMAX astronaut journeys. I bet these guys really love playing this music–no matter how heartbreakingly earnest it is.

Breather Resist [I]Charmer[/I] Review

My new favorite band, Breather Resist, is from Louisville, Kentucky–a lush, mossy land of Derby Week hoopla, good mint juleps, and Civil War ghosts. Their sound is the cramped, confused, and tangled soul of Southern American teenage freaked-out-ness. It’s the inner holy-shit-why-am-I-even-alive hormonal turmoil busting the dam and flooding the valley with brutal, passionate hardcore battened down by two-ton speed metal riffs and singer Steve Sindoni closing his eyes, throwing his ratty head back, and losing his mind on the club floor. Songs brood slow and sludgy, shuddering into a grind before speeding up and helter-skeltering away, but then–what’s this?–suddenly we’re crawling along in a Pink Floyd psyche shuffle, high seagull cries of feedback, and "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" IMAX astronaut journeys. I bet these guys really love playing this music–no matter how heartbreakingly earnest it is.

Nonstop touring without a Breather for new band

Young bands have to pay their dues, even it means playing with subpar openers. "Oh, man, the local bands they keep booking to open these shows have been bad," laughs Breather Resist guitarist Evan Patterson. "I mean, it’s always like that, but these are just exceptionally bad."

But fans need not worry, when the Kentucky band headlines at Josh Kelly’s in Cromwell tonight, two other quality national acts will open, Lickgoldensky and Coliseum.

No matter what bands kick off the show, though, Breather Resist will be there to aggressively finish off the night with its brand of hardcore punk containing a surprisingly melodic core.

"It’s really frustrating when we get compared to metal bands," says Patterson. "We always hear we sound like Converge or The Dillinger Escape Plan. It’s like people just hear a heavy band and just automatically compare them to those bands." The guitarist says he fears being lumped in with those bands, not wanting people to think they are part of the new metal fad: grunting lyrics over mishmash guitars.

"We come from a punk background. I used to listen to all those SST and Dischord bands, Dinosaur Jr. and Black Flag."

But, the band does make very heavy music. Beginning with "An Insomniac’s Complexion," Breather Resist’s debut full-length record, "Charmer," features loud, yet complex music. "Insomniac" brims with full-throttle guitars, intricate chord changes and grunting lyrics: the typical metal recipe. When that song ends, though, the band’s true sound escapes.

Breather Resist formed two years ago, quickly enamoring itself within a vital Louisville scene. Combining the chaotic sounds of Today is the Day with the more complex elements of Fugazi, the band released a violent and brooding EP, "Only in the Morning," in March 2003. But the mini-album lacked personality, something the band desperately craves, says Patterson.

"We want to be unique," he explains. "I want the kids in the bad opening bands to be able to easily tell the difference between our band and theirs."

IF YOU GO
• What: Breather Resist with Lickgoldensky, Coliseum
• When: 6:30 tonight
• Where: Josh Kelly’s, 41 Willowbrook Road, Cromwell
• Tickets: $7
• Info: Tickets only at door, no number

Patrick Ferrucci can be reached at pferrucci@nhregister.com or (203) 789-5678.