It seems bands like Breathe Carolina are really splitting opinion at the moment. On one side you have their devoted fans, mainly teenage girls with a penchant for hairspray and eyeliner; on the other, you have… everybody else. And depending on which side you lie, you will either love this record or put it firmly in the ‘cancer that is killing music’ pile.
Despite being a relatively new band, they are seemingly one of the pioneers of what has been dubbed ‘crunkcore’. Synthesised beats, some screaming and some singing and vocoders are all staple elements, and Hello Fascination has them all in abundance.
They combine catchy, trashy pop sensibilities with a little something more to appease the ‘scene’ masses. Take Me To Infinity is an excellent example of this; some parts sounding like they’re straight from a hit Cascada record, yet it manages to not sound out of place on the record as a whole.
All of the tracks follow vaguely the same structure and contain the same elements; catchy beat, lots of synth, vocoder, a little bit of screaming. This means all the tracks blend into each other a little unless you pay really close attention and listen over and over again. But this is a party album, it’s upbeat, fast-paced and not to be taken seriously. It also seems to go on for a little too long, probably also due to the fact that most of the songs don’t actually sound that different.
The one track that does seem to stand out is Tripped and Fell in Portland. It employs a little more screaming than usual, and it probably the heaviest track on the album (which isn’t saying much really, heaviness isn’t really the focal point), while still managing to retain that ‘popcore’ that have made Breathe Carolina a favourite of today’s ‘scene’. That being said, the heaviness is countered right at the end with a slower, more subdued outro. Probably the heaviest and softest parts of the album, both on the same track.
There is nothing revolutionary about this record, so listening to it under the pretense that it is some kind of career-defining classic in the vein of Illmatic or Master of Puppets, and you will undoubtedly be disappointed. However, if you expect a record you can dance to; a fun, mindless affair which is enjoyable because you don’t have to think about what you’re hearing, yet altogether forgettable for this very same reason, then Hello Fascination is for you. Not bad, not groundbreaking.
Hello Fascination by Breathe Carolina is available now on iTunes or, alternatively, can be purchased from the Fearless Records store HERE.