Artist: Breathe Carolina
Album: Bangers Mixtape
If you don’t count reissues as new albums, fans have been waiting over two years for new material from Breathe Carolina. 2011’s Hell Is What You Make It solidified the group’s status as certified pop hitmakers, but aside from the bonus tracks on 2012’s Reloaded deluxe edition the Colorado-bred duo has remained largely quiet. That all changed this month, however, with the release of a new 3-track mixtape entitled, Bangers. It’s not perfect, but it does prove Breathe Carolina have plenty left to offer.
Kicking things off with one of the biggest hooks of their career, Breathe Carolina open Bangers with “Skeletons.” Backed by thickly layered EDM that syncs with your pulse in no time, the song puts vocalist David Schmitt front and center, with Kyle Even’s higher tones serving as a fitting accompaniment. It’s the kind of track that sneaks up on you, easing into the catchy chorus with a soft open, but once it explodes you’ll be lucky if you stand still for more than a fleeting microsecond throughout the rest of the track. If Calvin Harris partnered with Breathe Carolina, something like this would be the result.
“Riot” starts with Schmitt talking about the stresses of life while backed by pulsing synth. Even’s high notes leads the pre-chorus and hook, which happens to be the two best elements of the song. The lyrics leave a lot to be desired, especially the half-hearted delivery of “Let’s start a riot tonight” on the hook. The bridge tries to salvage things with layers of gang vocals giving way to a buildup that rivals anything in top 40 EDM-pop right now, but misses the mark entirely when the drop hits.
Closing out the group’s latest offering, “Mistakes” is without a doubt the best of what Bangers has to offer. The song has the instant catchiness of “Skeletons,” but musically pushes the group’s already EDM-heavy sound into relatively new sonic territories. It’s undoubtedly a Breathe Carolina track, but the overall production is on another level. It’s the first song from the group where the music overtakes the songwriting, and it does so with such energetic flair that you cannot help getting caught up in the excitement.
Three tracks are almost never enough, and that is definitely the case with Bangers. While “Mistakes” offers hints at what the future may hold for this Denver duo, the other songs feel more like leftovers from previous recording sessions. That’s not to say they’re bad because they’re certainly not, but for having made fans wait as long as they have for new material it would have been nice to hear something….more. Still, there is plenty of fun and replay value to be found in Bangers, and I highly recommend fans of Breathe Carolina grab a free download of the mixtape as soon as they are able.
Review written by: James Shotwell (Follow him on Twitter)