CD Review

Breather – “Stitched With a Kiss”

By Marcus Pan

Stitched With a KissBreather provide us a mix of shoe-gazery dreamscapes anchored to an old school goth-rock style. There’s no drummer listed with the group, so Scott Gocherman (guitar/keys) must supply the live-sounding percussive rhythm himself. The other two members, vocalist Jessica Cook and Alicia Skala’s guitar/backing vocals/bass round out the threesome. Though the threesome have been playing about a bit, most notably in hometown Chicago, Stitched with a Kiss is Breather’s first full length album.

We open with a dreamy underwater minute long piece called Prelude that leads us into New Chosen Face. Prelude does a fine job of setting the pace of what we can expect throughout Stitched With a Kiss. A dreamy collage of soft spoken female vocals, a trip-hop flair combined with a goth-rock undertone. Victim Junkie sneaks in on you with no discernible break between New Chosen Face and the third Victim Junkie track.

This track provides a bit of more power in the form of stronger dual female vocals and a bit of guitar work that grasps your attention if only fleetingly. One of the better offerings here. Tracks tend to blend together, but do so in a forgettable way. I’m hard pressed to realize I’ve made it to Impressions in Scars on slot five for example – it kind of oozed by just barely on the edge of my peripheral vision. Stitched With a Kiss continues along in the same manner – all comfy played, indeed, but missing that flair to make it grab my attention and keep it for long. The heavier tribal rhythm that bangs through near the end of Bloodlust wakes me up for a bit as the pace increases.

Set Upon the Clouds (or at least track 9, anyway – there seems to be a bit of disagreement between the jacket track listing and the tarck count itself) is a shoegazery ballad. Smooth, but not all that eventful. It shows us that Jessica Cook has a nice voice, but I think that her range is a bit limited. Not sure she’d stand well against Alice in Videoland, Scarlet Life[1] or somesuch. Star of the Sea (or at least the next track) opens with a faster pace than most of Stitched With a Kiss, but loses itself due to its commonplace melodies and obvious percussion.

I don’t know if it’s much of an issue, but Breather moves so slowly and windily that I find it being a bit…forgettable at times. There’s little here to make it stand out above the windy movements, even if it’s played well and comfortable-like. Some might even say it’s a bit bland and even boring. It could be that Stitched With a Kiss, being Breather’s debut, may have the group still looking for a solid direction. Maybe by the next release they will find that direction and be able to provide a punch towards it rather than float and flutter about a bit searching for that something they’re missing.

Contact Information:
Failure to Communicate
Post: 33954 Wooded Glen Dr., Grayslake, IL, 60030, USA
Phone: (847) 624-7474
E-Mail: info@breather.com
Web: www.breather.com
[1] Scarlet Life’s Sugar, Spice, Saccharin & Cyanide was reviewed in Legends #112.

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