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October 5, 2004

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More shit-hot, cerebral, spindly mathcore from our great ol’ U.S. of A., Breather Resist have really built up a strong catalog of full-lengths and splits within a few short years. To invoke the usual roll call of DEP, Converge, Botch, Drowningman, et al., in describing the music of newer arrivals such as this might qualify as lazy journalism, but either the references hold up or I am Stepin Fetchit. Displaying the angular riffs, stop-start dynamics, oblique but personal lyrical grist, open-ended song structures and brilliant, unconventional cover artwork of the aforementioned bands, Breather Resist come off as more colloquially melodic and rocking than any of them barring Drowningman. They can be subtle at times, as in the openings to “As Far as Goodbyes Go” and “Loose Lipped Error” which drone and strum meaningfully before escalating to equally fine Unsane-like crescendos, and quite batty at other moments. Apparently, the seemingly incongruous leap to the emo-heavy Jade Tree hasn’t tempered their edge a bit. Eleven songs, all great and likely to go down a storm live. Formerly on Deathwish Inc and currently produced by Kurt Ballou; my Converge analogy rings true, kids.

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Matthew Kirshner