Sunday, 11 July 2010

Breton - Sharing Notes EP

Music as ‘art’ is very much the in thing now right? Especially if you just so happen to live in certain parts of East London (assuming that nothing’s changed since I moved away).

There are people who believe giving the impression of being ‘arty’ is as important as the music. Breton is a “creative force of musicians” that this reviewer gets the impression are being arty for the sake of it.

The blurb that came with their second E.P. – part of a trilogy apparently – Sharing Notes doesn’t really quash this theory either;

“The physical copy of this E.P. will come mounted on a handmade circuit board with a list of components and directions which, when followed, creates a fully working synth”

Right, ok... let’s hope the music on this six track E.P. makes up for this general air of pretentiousness. Oh...

Within ten seconds of The Well there's a distinct feel of Audio Bullys. It’s a synth based, industrial electronic track that actually has a somewhat creepy vibe to it. Unfortunately, the track consists of the same melody throughout and it gets dull quite quickly. Not a good start.

Penultimate starts off bouncier than the opening track, but unfortunately quickly degrades into an only electronic and beeping number with some pretty bleak vocals. You start to get the impression that Breton are being ‘experimental’ and artistic for the sake of it.

The title track of the E.P., Sharing Notes, goes someway to redeeming the outfits credibility, with the almost orchestral arrangement combined with the heavy bass actually sound quite good. It’s a shame the muttered, moody spoken word lyrics – no doubt said while looking ‘cool’ – occasionally get drowned out by the bass.

The EP gets a well needed injection of adrenaline with Episodes with his high tempo vocals, beats, beeps and synths. If you had to play a track from Sharing Notes in a bar it’d probably be this one.... you could probably only get away with it in Shoreditch, mind. It’s a shame the momentum of Episodes doesn’t continue into the 1:26 long Watertight which only really provides more bleak lyrics to an electronic arrangement. 15x closes the 16 minute long E.P., and to be honest it just sounds too similar to the rest of the record.

So, what’s the verdict? Well, if Breton had released Episodes as a single than this would be getting a rather positive review. Unfortunately, Sharing Notes is a six track E.P. which just isn’t very engaging or creative. Yes, it’s good to be experimental and perhaps it’s good to be artistic and ‘different’ too, but when you take that risk, the result has to be good.

This isn’t good. Breton, you may keep your home-made synth instructions.

(Originally written for Gobshout)

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