Remember 2008? When discussing Colorado’s Breathe Carolina, 2008 feels like a lifetime ago. Back over eleven years ago, the band (then a duo consisting of David Schmitt and Kyle Even) created a blend of electronic screamo-pop that couldn’t have sounded more like the time period it came from.
Since then, the band’s changes have been steady but dramatic none the less. The GarageBand produced emo-electronica of the late 00s/early 10s was the last real time we heard their unique mash, having evened out over the years to follow with far better production and an increasing lack of alternative content.
In 2014, member changes (including the departure of Even) saw the band’s most dramatic change, while that year’s full-length offering ‘Savages’, featured only one track of alternative note – ‘Sellouts’, which features Danny Worsnop of Asking Alexandria.
Now, here in 2019, their fifth record ‘DEADTHEALBUM’ is the end of their alternative status (music-wise at least) as the now duo of Schmitt and Tommy Cooperman produce a dance record that’s packed with beats but lacking in charm.
‘DEADTHEALBUM’ is what their debut ‘It’s Classy, Not Classic’ was to 2008 – a collection of tracks that summed some of the music of its time. While ‘It’s Classy…’ was strange in its brash synths layered beneath aggressive screams as an amalgamation of alternative music’s ability to try absolutely anything, they found success through it. ‘DEADTHEALBUM’, on the other hand, feels like a record designed to be played in clubs, follows a safe formula, and adheres to trap tropes of popular dance music. It’s hard not to draw comparisons between Breathe Carolina and The Chainsmokers at this point, something nobody thought they’d read a few years ago.
That said, while much of ‘DEADTHEALBUM’ is pretty stock, it’s at least hook-ridden and fulfils its goal of making you want to dance. Opener ‘Too Good’ – the song Cooperman labelled as the reason why the record is so dance-centred, as its energy led them to want to “make an entire album that had the feeling and mood of this first song” – is a guilty pleasure pop anthem, while ‘July’ sounds like one of those typical summer songs that people will no doubt be blaring out on a beach somewhere in 2020.
But, too much of the time, ‘DEADTHEALBUM’‘s catchy appeal feels a bit lifeless (no pun intended) and lacking in originality. Still, if you’re just here to dance, Breathe Carolina have got you covered.