Album Review: The Kissaway Trail – Breach

the-kissaway-trail-breach-album-cover-2013Already storming back with Youtube hits ‘Norrebro’ and ‘The Springsteen Implosion’ to go alongside the inclusion of ‘New Lipstick’ on the launch video for Google Glass, Danish indie group The Kissaway Trail are determined to make a splash after a long hiatus and the departure of several founding band members. Despite the 3 years in between albums and this personnel trouble, the majority of tracks sound remarkably similar to 2010’s Sleep Mountain.

Make it through the mediocre opening track (which can best be summarized with a “so what?”), and the following ‘Norrebro’ sees the group hitting their stride again.  The striking guitar transports the listener to the Danish town that gives the song its title.  Singer and guitarist Thomas Fagerlund said in an earlier interview: “I wanna show everyone all the places I’ve spent my time and all the people that made me who I am today.” With his vocals, he succeeds, allowing the listener to live what he felt there through his music.

‘Cuts of Youth (Eternal Summer)’ builds further momentum for the group.  The group vocals on the track are truly sublime, and fit in perfectly with instrumentals that scale down some of the effects present on the majority of the other tracks.  With a feel that is eerily reminiscent of Crocodiles, the track proves to be an excellent bridge into the following ‘The Springsteen Implosion’. As if the name isn’t intriguing enough, the music itself certainly is. Chock full of guitar effects and a momentum that won’t stop, the listener gets hooked right from the start and never gets let go of. After already developing a reputation for spine tingling live shows, one gets chills merely thinking of how the now-trio will tackle this live.

Unfortunately, the rest of the record is full of songs that, while solid, are nowhere near on par with what preceeded it.  ‘So Sorry’ attempts to reinvigorate the second half of the LP, but the band fails to maintain its energy, following it up with ‘Sarah’, a track so pedestrian that it should have ended up on the cutting room floor.  The LP never again reaches the heights displayed in the early tracks.

Despite its flaws, in parts Breach remains a triumphant comeback for a group with as much internal turmoil as The Kissaway Trail, but the group undoubtedly still needs to adapt to its identity as a 3-piece or find a few new members.  Regrettably, until the group manages to put together a full record that lives up to the potential of its standout tracks, they will always leave some fans disappointed.New 7-1