For an album that only lasts a total of 29 minutes, Breakfast of Failures carries itself with an attitude and confidence that is only found in rock music; this is an embodiment of what’s right with the odd and the off-beat in the world of rock music. Opening the record is the ominous Old Lake, a song that you’re likely to love or hate, depending on your musical inclinations – personally I quite liked it, the energy in the drums and the almost thundering guitars over the top combining to give this track a real presence. It will, quite simply, get people’s attention.
Next up is the equally as energetic, if slightly more frantic, Parachute – perhaps a song that better reflects this group’s punk influences, both musically and lyrically. The chorus shouts about insecurities that are then projected into outward anger, essentially the code of the punk. And most misaligned youth, to be fair. Anyways, not a bad song, but again if this isn’t your cup of tea then you’re probably going to want to stop listening by this point.
If there’s one word that popped into my mind while I was listening to this record, it was ominous. This group, The Blind Shakes, have a real knack for making a sound that feels pretty serious. They know how to exploit their instruments to give their music a devil may care sound – third track, Dots in the Fog, is one of my favourite examples of this as it sounds like something from a mod nightmare with its continuously rolling guitar riff. The density of sound this three-piece group creates is staggering, with both guitars and the drumming equally as responsible for this fantastically fucked-up weirdness.
Similar in some regard to the likes of Bass Drum of Death, this group consisting of two brothers and their friend from Minneapolis have produced their own pitch of distortion drenched surf rock, drawing quite clearly on their punk influences at times just to give an already full-bodied sound that kick over the edge.
There’s even a slightly psychedelic element to this group, with the track Pollen providing that quality. Flaring guitars through a soaking of reverb with the odd guitars then give way to a fast-pace straight up gunning it song, Young Carnival Waste; this is like The Kills on an anger trip, it’s furious and relentless in its tempo. Off-kilter guitar riffs break into another reverb-filled, backward-sounding solo that just puts this band further and further into the category of “out there”. Should this group ever be playing near you, go because I can imagine that this group are capable of producing some of the better live performances anyone could hope to see.
Repetitive riffing and almost primitive beats from the rhythm section in the song In a Trance make this one of the standout tracks of the record, a song that is continually building toward a climax. Well, where there was potential for an all-out instrumental break, the song just peeters out before its successor, Mildew, kicks in. Maybe not the best of tracks, this one strikes me as probably one that’s fun for the group to play – getting into a rhythm with other musicians and hitting a loop of gratifying sound is one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have, no matter what that sound may be for you.
Closing things off is the almost anthemic Nobody Else, a song that sounds like an amped up re-write of Joy Division’s Atmosphere that got up on the wrong side of bed. Equally as imposing as the opening track, this is a fitting finale to what is an interesting record overall – there are some songs that could be called stronger than others, it’s an album that has the potential to surprise and shock, to make you feel a little uncomfortable but plugged in until the end.