Breathe Carolina – It’s Classy, Not Classic

Band: Breathe Carolina
Album: It’s Classy, Not Classic
Genre: Electronica/Pop
Label: Rise

1. The Introduction
2. No Vacancy
3. Show Me Yours
4. The Birds And The Bees
5. Classified
6. Gossip
7. That’s Classy
8. Diamonds
9. You Wish [interlude]
10. Lovely
11. Put Some Clothes On

Myspace sensations to label Freshman? That’s the case with Rise Records’ new group, Breathe Carolina. Having blown up with the social website, this group has been mixing the screams of emo-core music with the dance vibes and pop vocals of electronica for awhile now. However, not until this Month will most those not keeping an eye on the Unsigned Music charts discover this pair of artists as September is when their debut full length album, It’s Not Classy, It’s Classic hits stores. We were lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this much awaited album, but having listened to the album a few times, I can’t say I’m excited as I once was.

It’s always risky to begin an album with an album with an “intro” track and Breathe Carolina give us a direct reason why. “The Introduction,” though introducing the soothing pop vocals, just falls flat at building up any anticipation for what is to come. The pictures of the band and title sell this as a fun disc, but this track feels so laced with teen emotion overload that it kills the build up everything before playing the actual disc built up. “No Vacancy,” however, gives the album the does of energy it already was in dire need of. Showcasing both the throat tearing screams and great harmonies within the first minute, the track is instantly approachable. I get that electronica bands need to use vocal effect to match up with the music, but sometimes the autotune just becomes distracting. not just on this sole song, but the album in general. “Show Me Yours,” begins like a Nintendo techno mix and continues as such for quite awhile. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but that’s only because the vocals save what begins a near annoying loop of music. Think Cascada’s “Every Time We Touch,” but three octaves higher note wise. I mean, the song would be great, but since it sounds so similar to this other track which we’ve all heard 10,000 times, it’s hard to get past that fact. Though, “The Birds and The Bess,” then comes swooping in with the pure gold track this album desperately had been needing. Everything about this track is perfect. From the synth work [kept to a minimum, unlike the last song], to the mixture between singing and screaming. It feels like every good idea we found in the other tracks comes to fruition here and joins together to create the right sound Breathe Carolina have been looking for.

Track four, “Classified,” continues to show this balance BC showed on the previous track. The piano part fits so well and the pounding drum hits just feel right. Though, the chorus does fall a little flat, but the verses are quite solid overall. “Gossip,” finds the band using sounds quite similar to those on, “The Birds and The Bees,” and not much to my surprise, it works again. This is the second, and only other truly perfect song on the album. When the synth stays at a minimum, BC really shines, but when they get too heavy on effects everything just mashes together and feels cluttered. The music doesn’t have enough room to breathe and you can only have that one-two dance beat so many times in a row. Those who love DJ Tiesto will find something to love about the beginning of,”That’s Classy.” The track, which is a bit above average in terms of overall sound, feels made for a dance club. you know those scenes in teen films where all the kids escape from the problems by going to a crowded dance club with green laser lights dancing across the room? That’s where this song would work best, except this is laced in great screams. You can almost see the overpaid plastic beauties sweating and grinding on shirtless Abercrombie models throughout the duration of the song. Is that a bad thing? I’m not sure yet.

The last four tracks of the album, to me, where very important tracks. The whole album thus far had felt so mixed and underwhelming that I was really holding out for some truly redeeming work on the tail end. “Diamonds,” which features great screaming, but tiring singing, overstays its welcome by about a minute. I mean, the track would be passable, but you can only hear the repetition so many times before it gets old and this one just hangs around a bit more than is necessary. The interlude, “You Wish,” is actually quite awesome. Generally these segways are nothing, but moments of near silence in order for the band or group to reconfigure how you listen to the record, but this is just pulsating, gyrating, goodness. “Lovely,” the song the interludes leads us into, almost feels like a weaker version of the instrumental tracks. The chorus, however, is catchy as can be, but the beat just doesn’t hit as well you’d like. I know, it seems like I always have something to say against each track, but that’s not my fault. Breathe Carolina just can’t seem to find solid ground and stay on it. Finally, we reach the closer, “Put Some Clothes On.” Rising from silence, you almost expect a boy band type beat, but instead we get a near Paul Van Dyke inspired sound coupled with great scream work. However, aside from the screams, this song feels meant to swoon the ladies. Discussion of forever and accent high synth notes just screams “dance with me.” It’s solid, but I feel it was too late for redemption for Breathe Carolina.

The problem with Breathe Carolina’s debut, to me, is not as much the music, as the length. A full length for a band of this genre right out the gate is a horrible task. I mean, they probably had maybe 5 tracks at the time they got signed and then wrote a bunch for the record in a shorter time span. When signing “big” internet bands, I think EP’s are the best way to start out. Give them some road time and sales numbers before pushing out 11 songs. also, if you drop the pointless intro and interlude, we’re down to nine songs. I can say 4 of those were solid. So that’s five filler and that’s a bit too much for us at UTG. However, that interlude was killer and it aided the score quite a bit. I’m sure that regardless of what we say these boys will sell a lot base doff who they are, but for those true music fans: approach with caution. Breathe Carolina are loaded with great ideas, but they need to work on their execution.

*Written By: James Shotwell*
GRADE: 4.5/10

James Shotwell
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