AbsolutePunk.net - July 13th, 2011
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For more than a decade, the acoustic trio known as Guster has perfected the art of acoustic-based soft rock. But with each of the members nearing their 40s, an heir apparent seems almost inevitable. Insert the New York City trio Breaking Laces. Truth of the matter is, the bands aren't that different. For starters, both bands have a jocular and whimsical nature. In the case of Breaking Laces, cue the songs "God in Training," and "Shopping For Two." In the case of Guster, see "Happy Frappy," or "Airport Song," among many others.
But, this review is not meant to heap praises on Guster, but rather the under-the-radar wunderkinds known as Breaking Laces. Led by the self-assured, overtly charismatic frontman Willem "Billy" Hartong, the group pens layered and gauzy acoustic anthems that seem destined for soft-rock stations and movie soundtracks. Songs like "When You Find Out," "We Can Be Great," "Here to Stay," "Bone Dry," and "What We Need," have a deeply affecting resonance that lasts long after the first listen and strikes a chord that is neither harmful nor alienating. Some may call it safe, supple or saccharine, but for those of us that find the harmless charms of Guster so appealing, there's little reason to think Breaking Laces won't find their way into their hearts either.
If Breaking Laces is a new name to you, then by all means take the time to sit down and get acquainted. The band has been crafting this version of mid-tempo melancholia since their inspiring 2003 LP Operation Income. So yes, the name may be new, but the band is by no stretch of the imagination amateur. After all, songs these strong can't be crafted by neophytes.