New Breeders (and some old)

The Breeders' Mountain Battles comes out officially in April, about six years after their previous, the underappreciated Title TK. Whereas Title TK took the Breeders' hooks and made them sound in-your-face and had a first-take kind of feel, Mountain Battles for the most part goes in the opposite direction, layering overdubs and sounding more atmospheric than any of their previous releases. There are certain elements of Pod that I hear, mostly the moodiness, but also just the bit-more quirky and inventive chord changes. A couple of the more upbeat songs like "Bang On" and "German Studies" mostly work, but others like "Walk It Off", "No Way", and "It's The Love" don't do anything the Breeders haven't already done better, and sound obligatorily included. The strengths, however, far outweight the weaknesses. The swooning guitar and laid-back feel suit Kim Deal's raspy plaintive singing so well on this album. The simple country heart of "Here No More" is more real than anything you'll find on FM country stations. And they are obviously experimenting more than ever before, especially on tracks like "Istanbul" and the droning closer "Mountain Battles", the almost Go Team!-style beats on "Bang On", and a song in Spanish despite no ability to speak the language. I predict many of these songs, especially the ones where they take the time to let the music stretch out, won't age as much for me the way some of the older Breeders has. It sounds more designed for at-night bedroom listening, at least more than their previous work. It's really only a few mediocre tracks which will keep this from the upper echelon of albums of the year.

And here's a couple of live tracks from a bootleg called "Double Trouble", which compiled tracks from several Breeders shows in 1993:

Be sure to check the Breeders' music page for lots of mp3 downloads, and preorder Mountain Battles now from Insound on CD or vinyl.


Anonymous said...

I can't stop replaying Bang On, & Here No More is so beautiful.

funeralpudding said...

yeah, i did give just good mention to "Bang On", but for those other three songs I mentioned, they just seem really tacked on. This could have been one of the greatest cosmic-country albums ever if they had perhaps found a single producer with that vision.

Blair said...

I'm going to see them tonite at Webster Hall. I can't wait to hear these new songs!