Once upon a time, there was a croosh hardcore band that totally dominated and was too smart for its own good. With 11 tracks clocking in at exactly one hour in length, The Breaking Project’s latest release is an almost seamless amalgamation of 70s prog-rock and modern tech-core, creating a brutal concept album.
I can tell how good a CD is by how often I find myself wanting to listen to it. This record, which is the first full-length by the band, makes me want to invest in some batteries for my Discman. And for the whole hour, I heard a section get repeated on only one of the songs. This BrokenHeart Records release owns.
Vocalist Josh Kirby has honed the atrocious, hideous falsetto heard on previous EPs to sound less obnoxious this time around. The vocals are still higher pitched than most hardcore tends to be, but it now comes across as if his face is melting as he screams in agony at the listener. This has a strange (but not exactly disliked) affect conveying the unintelligible, hyper-intelligent lyrics, which are heavily reminiscent of Every Time I Die. For example, the first song on the album, “Ephemeral Dialogue Between Light and Film,” (which I’m assuming is only superficially about photography) goes something like, “Granular representations of unfiltered plasma suspended images engage in cranial pong.”
The lyrics seem to have been manufactured by a computer that selects random, uncommon words and strings them together adding punctuation [.,"'!(] at! ran.dom intervals. The effect is a somewhat baffling mess of incoherent ramble that the listener (rather, the reader- the lyrics cannot be deciphered through the siren screams. According to THE PROJ, it adds to the “cryptocity”) must sort through to find some message.
The band breaks free from the slugging hardcore feel at times to create some beautifully harmonized segments that are almost Mogwai-esque in their tranquility. These don’t last too long before you are again submerged in the metal guitar riffage.
THE PROJ uses number symbolism in the lyrics as well as in the time signatures. My graphing calculator isn’t advanced enough to calculate some of the song structures, but I can almost nod my head along with some songs, as long as I’m counting along with my fingers. After listening to it about 132,324,563 times, I think I’ve deciphered the beginning of “The Pros and Cons of Adhering to the Dress Code at Mount Morrie High School”—eight measures of dissonant pick scrape with jazz drum beat, drum roll out into a half-measure moment of silence into a sequence alternating syncopated panic chords with harmonized trills, which is broken into a bar of 8/8, a bar of 5/8, a bar of 19/8, another two sections of 5/8, and finally a snare hit just before going into a catchy, melodic hardcore groove.
This is too much for me. These guys are way too intelligent. This is an album that not only makes you think, it intentionally throws your mind in random and unpredictable directions at all times. The underlying sense of panic and chaos on all the songs contradicts the complex structure, adding to the confusion.
If you have been looking for a sonic means of scrambling your pet robot’s circuitry, just play this CD really loud. Trust me, that fucker won’t be able to process input data and will go into robo-convulsions and CPU meltdown. I recommend it.