Breathe Carolina are one of those bands (if you can call the duo a band) that are hard to fit into just one category â€“ their mix of pop, rock and electronica has seen them be defined as ‘crunk’, ‘crunkcore’, ‘screamo dance’ and a hell of a lot of other things. Strangely enough though, it’s that random combination of sounds that has gained them a pretty nifty fanbase that is growing each day. ‘Hello Fascination’, is the band’s sophomore album and is pretty much everything I expected it to be â€“ screams, catchy choruses and dance music more apt for a night club.
The opening title track – also the first single off the record – basically sums up what the rest of the album sounds like; overly auto-tuned vocals from David Schmitt, randomly placed screams from Kyle Even and a guitar that has had too many effects added to it on GarageBand. It’s songs such as ‘Take Me To Infinity’ which makes you question what a band like Breathe Carolina are doing signed to a label like Fearless Records and how they managed to get on the Warped Tour bill. The lyrics could have been written by somebody half their age, “Sparkle and shine / Baby, light up the sky”, and would be more fitting on a Jonas Brothers record.
It’s evident that the duo are having a good time and quite frankly couldn’t care less about people criticising their sound. Obscene track ‘I.D.G.A.F.’ (I think you can work out what the acronym stands for yourself) sees David, who now has robotic vocals, sing chorus after chorus of “I don’t give a fuck”. Despite the lack of talent that seems to stand out to me on this record, fans will undoubtedly adore ‘Hello Fascination’, it will for them be the perfect follow-up to debut release, ‘It’s Classy, Not Classic’. If the trance synths and overly auto-tuned vocals appealed to them first time round then there’s no denying that they’ll love the 13 tracks on the new record.
Songs such as ‘Welcome To Savannah’ and ‘The Dressing Room’ are full of poppy beats and bouncy lyrics that are likely to go down well with the adoring teenage fans at live shows. Taken as a whole, ‘Hello Fascination’ is a big, fat disappointment – after all the hype about Breathe Carolina and their signing to a record label with a great roster I was expecting something a little better. The record is so overly produced that the duo will most likely struggle to make the songs sound good live. Let’s hope they step it up on album number three.
Written by Kate Rees