Finally, there is a band worthy enough to be called emo. The term is now more diversified than ever, but think about emo as an invention of post-hardcore. Actually, let’s call “emo” what it is: post Mineral; post Knapsack; post rock. Yet somehow Breaking Pangaea’s Cannon to a Whisper is a refreshing, energy-laden full length that will stay in your musical rotation for a long time.
The name of the album is obviously the first thing that catches your attention, next to the name of the band itself. Sure, “Breaking Pangaea” is intriguing, but think about the idea of going from the sound of a cannon to that of a whisper. The difference is incredibly dynamic, much like the music contained on the disc. “Sick Day,” the opening track, acts as a prologue that explains what the listener should expect from the rest of the album. It’s an excellent mixture of intricate guitar lines, driving melodies, and emotional breakdowns. “Suspended” and “Skylight” are similar to the first track, but sound a bit more like Knapsack. In fact, there’s a little bit of Jonah (New End Original) in lead singer/guitarist Fred Macherino. Macherino’s singing style isn’t defined by either band, but is rather a blend between Knapsack’s raspy lead singer Blair Sheehan, the quiet, subtle, and melodious Jonah, and whiny-yet-powerful Mineral lead singer Chris Simpson.
Probably the most moving and indie-ish rock song on the album is “…and Still they Hated It.” This is the kind of emotional song you can listen to when you’re driving, doing homework, or making out, but lyrically, it seems like a great song to listen to when you get dumped. The lyrics are few, and they are heartbreakingly inspirational for letting go: “Find another road, and you take it / Anyway you go, seems to break it / All this time, we were waiting / So find another road, you can make it / Anyway you go, I can’t take it / All this time, we were waiting.” The track is over five minutes long, with its handful of simple lyrics amid a diversely emotional song finally proving less is more.
So go ahead, all you emo haters, and make fun of this album. And all you emo lovers can go ahead and buy this album so you have more songs to cry along with. Either way you look at it, Breaking Pangaea’s Cannon to a Whisper is one of the best indie/post-hardcore releases of the year.