The Melismatics and Breaking Laces

The Melismatics “Rising Tide”
Produced by Jon Auer (The Posies, Big Star) The Melismatics are a maturing alt. rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The opening track “Crawl, Baby, Crawl” is a combination of solid male-female vocals (husband/wife team of Ryan and Pony Smith,) guitar riffs and synth chords. It’s the catchy chorus that keeps things interesting, then on “Halo” the synths increase and dance beat reminds me of The Orion Experience.

In fact, the next few songs bring a new wave vibe to the melodic “Cocoon” and “Close 2 The Vest” that make a good impression. But some of the remaining tracks just aren’t that memorable, even though the guitar riffs are more prominent. The wonderful falsetto that opens “Rising” gets closer to what this band could be and the vocal harmonies are perfect here. Give it a chance to win you over.

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Breaking Laces “Come Get Some”
It’s really frustrating to finally discover a great band only to find out they’ve just broken up. The Brooklyn-based trio of Willem Hartong (singer/guitarist), Rob Chojnacki (bass), and Seth Masarsky (drums) have somehow managed to play for over ten years under my radar (my bad.) The band’s style of melodic alt-rock falls somewhere between The Gin Blossoms, Soul Coughing and The Lemonheads.

The ringing guitars and epic hooks on “Better Than Me” easily qualifies as an A-side single that should’ve taken off. Then in a tonal shift “Be Hammer” uses Foo Fighters riffage in the sing along chorus, another shift as the church organ opens the reflective “When The Lightning Comes.”  The semi-serious rock ballad  “Before You Down” hooks you early and the Jellyfish-like “Extra Time” is another welcome gem. The band doesn’t take much that seriously on “Mr. Curry Is A Cop,” a funny tune – very much in the Fountains of Wayne mode. Lyrics are free flowing irony and full of attitude, especially the Beck-like rap “I used To Be A Boy Scout.” No real filler here, so now I highly recommend you get this and work your way backwards through the discography.

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