Need To Breathe: The Reckoning

It is fair to say that even if US rock band Need To Breathe does not send your senses into raptures or even enthused passion, they are a band one can easily appreciate in regard to their qualities and skilled craft. The same can be said about their fourth album The Reckoning, a release full of excellently crafted and delivered songs brought with passion and heart dealt energy. We cannot say the release left us excited and soaked in any lingering presence due to personal tastes but it certainly was a decent listen throughout with its southern rock invention and in a couple of moments a more than satisfying companion.

     The Reckoning gets its UK release September 10th and seems sure to follow the great success it had back home upon its arrival last November. The South Carolina quartet has already made a mark through their previous releases and hearty rock sounds, which bring essences of the newer Kings of Leon music and Mumford & Sons into their own climactic stadium rock sounds. Just off of a six month tour of the US, the foursome of brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart (vocals, guitar, piano and guitar, backing vocals respectively), Seth Bolt (bass, backing vocals), and Joe Stillwell (drums, backing vocals), follow up their acclaimed previous album of 2009 The Outsiders, with fourteen big boned sky filling songs which persistently drip with soulful and emotive imagination. Yes for us the style does not light raging fires but for those loving the earthy American drama of a Springsteen and arguably Tom Petty as well as those previously mentioned Need To Breathe and The Reckoning will have their ardour sparking greedily.

Easily the best track on the album opens things up and it is a song which instantly captivates. From its initial dulled melody and emotive vocals Oohs And Ahhs has the ear in close attendance and mesmerised, but when the chorus breaks loose to sizzle upon the senses passions, for arguably the only time on the album, go soaring. In to its stride the track is a hearty forceful rock song to leave anyone breathless and caught up in the moment. Midway in the song take a brief respite before rekindling its energy and building up to a fiery crescendo which has grins breaking out everywhere. The mischievous track then repeats the event though this time the stride towards the flaming ending is tinged with stirring brass and discord driven keys. It is simply a stunning track which the album for personal tastes fails to repeat again.

The following White Fences and Drive All Night stretch their melodic wings to bring expressive depths to their soulful breaths, both finding an energy and tension which evokes thoughts and feelings. The songs of Need To Breathe are not necessarily faith driven but do bring a moral touch to their strong lyrical content though importantly it can also be interpreted into the lives of all.

Songs like Slumber, Maybe They’re On To Us, and Wanted Man, as well as the title track, all wrap around the heart with rousing and in their individual gaits, stomping anthemic majesty. As we said at the start there is no missing the quality and accomplished invention of the band let alone their ability to wring every emotion and passion out of every note and line, and for those receptive to their Americana/Southern rock songs it is hard to imagine anything other than deep pleasure gained from The Reckoning.

The other big highlight for us came with the newest single Keep Your Eyes Open, a song which takes inspirational and stirring sounds and songwriting to their fullest expansive heights. You can argue how original the song is with nothing openly surprising going on but it is hard to recall any rock song which has sparked the heart into reflective and eager life as potently.

If Southern rock/Americana is your brew to hungrily feast upon than The Reckoning will leave you full to the brim, and to be honest even if it is not your preference, the album and Need To Breathe is still worth an hour of your time to be sure.

http://needtobreathe.net/

RingMaster 08/09/2012

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