Beyond The Break – Pictures Of Losing Sleep EP

cover_RingMaster Review

With a first single already whipping up potent attention, Welsh rockers Beyond The Break have now uncaged their debut EP bringing four varied and persuasive encounters to ears. The Pictures Of Losing Sleep EP is an accomplished and captivating offering from a band consisting of members from 21 Against, Catatonia, and Eleven. The song’s success on personal tastes did vary a touch it is fair to say but equally there is no denying that from start to finish the release left strong satisfaction and healthy appetite for more behind.

Formed earlier this year, the Llanelli based band quickly sparked awareness with the single The Way It Was, the track receiving in excess of 25,000 organic plays on Spotify in its first four weeks. An initial demo then led the band to be signed up with 2P Records with Beyond The Break’s live presence starting after that link up, to date seeing the band play a sold out hometown show in Llanelli and perform for the Foo Fighters fan club at the US band’s Wembley pre-show party amongst other gigs. Recorded as a live performance direct to tape over two weekends, Pictures Of Losing Sleep is the band’s national introduction and a proposition looking to stir up new ears and awareness the way of the quartet.

It opens with Mother Love and an immediate wall of crisp rhythms and spice lined riffs. Soon into a steady stroll with the bass of Chris Francis a great dark texture and lure, the song is bursting with energy and creative tenacity but reined in enough to embrace rather than over-run the expressive vocal tones of Paul Jones. His and the guitar of Richard Thomas-James simultaneously spin a web of sparkling hooks and winey grooves around the core riffery whilst the firm handed beats of drummer Aled Richards spear it all with poise and attitude. There is no escaping the Foo Fighters hints across the song, indeed the EP, but equally there is a melodic flaming to the great raw air of the track which has whispers of bands like Jimmy Eats World and Biffy Clyro to it.

That previous single The Way It Was comes next, emerging from a sonic bluster into another feisty and fiery encounter. Bass and riffs again provide an anthemic canvas which especially comes into its own around the chorus. Relentlessly infectious it is easy to see why the song gripped the attention it did, and still does, vocals and rhythms as magnetic as the host of hooks which line each twist and turn of the incitement. Whereas the first track on the EP was a strong invitation if one which seemed to be holding something back, The Way It Was is the party and an increasingly tempting one with body and voice soon succumbing to its rousing flirtation.

The EP’s title track which follows is also Beyond The Break’s new single, but it does not quite find the same success with ears. Vocally Jones is an emotive tempting whilst around him guitars weave a reflective picture of angst and drama to support the narrative. Something is missing though, the spark which ignites the other songs on the release dulled and for whatever reason not inciting what are of course just personal tastes. In saying that musically the track is a lively tapestry which does become more compelling over time, with the bass and grooves taking the thickest wedge of attention.

It suffers a touch too by being wedged between the band’s gripping previous single and the outstanding EP closer Big Wait. Easily the best track on the encounter, the song is instantly ablaze with riffs and percussive confrontation but soon slipping into something seriously contagious as scything swings from Richards roll out anthemic bait alongside another throaty bassline and the vocal enticing of Jones. Nineties rock is a constant spicing to the Beyond The break sound and here openly taps into the grungy essences of a Nirvana and Gruntruck whilst adding some pop punk essences bred around the same era. Simply the track is a storming incitement; a tempest of adrenaline and almost predatory enterprise aligned to impassioned tenacity and the most exciting song from the band yet.

Pictures Of Losing Sleep definitely hits the spot, in some places more powerfully than in others, whilst announcing Beyond The Break as a possible new force on the British rock scene. Right now it is potential but with more releases like this and certainly tracks like Big Wait it will be evidence.

The Pictures Of Losing Sleep EP is available now via 2P Records and the Beyond the Break Bandcamp.

Pete RingMaster 09/09/2015

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