Kissaway Trail – Breach // Album Review

kissawayYep Roc // Out Now

Three years after their criminally-overlooked sophomore record ‘Sleep Mountain’, Kissaway Trail (they’ve dropped the ‘The’) return several band members lighter, but with a newfound vigour on this fighting comeback album.

At first glance, the clunky titles raise eyebrows — ‘Cuts of Youth (Razor Love)’ and ‘Robot (Think Of Me As One You’d Never Figured’) probably won’t win any awards for the snappiest song titles of the year. But thankfully, the songs themselves are a marked improvement on this.  Never one to shy away from euphoric, sweeping choruses, the frequent comparisons with Arcade Fire are unlikely to go away, but this time around everything feels bigger, grander. A deceptively underwhelming opening track, a simple piece of throwaway synth-and-guitars, wrong-foots slightly, but from thereon the big choruses come thick and fast. ‘Nørrebro’, based around a simple but effective chorus of ‘You were up / I was down / You got up / I was always down’ shows so much more promise.

The aforementioned ‘Cuts of Youth’ is similarly propulsive, but it’s the fourth track (another oddly-named gem, ‘The Springsteen Implosion’) where things really kick into gear. Driven, frantic and earnest, it’s beguiling, and casts any doubt that the band might have lost their way following their internal struggles firmly into touch.

The momentum of the early tracks threatens to send the album firmly stratospheric, and the relentlessness does begin to lose its appeal mid-album. Thankfully, the final third of the album turns into a different beast altogether; stadium anthems are traded in for songs with are allowed a bit of breathing room, New Order-esque synths and, on ‘A Rainy Night In Soho’, melancholia in place of euphoria.

“Breach” is a triumphant album in many respects, and it deserves to see a band which seems to be perennially living in the shadow of others some time in the limelight. It’s a pure statement of intent and for that it’s difficult to fault.

 

Buy: Kissaway Trail – Breach

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