Thursday, July 2, 2009

Reviews:: Spring Breakup

Summer is probably not the ideal time for listening to a collection of songs detailing a relationship slowly breaking apart into unsalvageable pieces, but sometimes timing can't be helped. Yukon songwriter Kim Barlow and The Burning Hell front man Mathias Kom have joined forces to write a break-up record that tugs on your heartstrings but still manages to make you laugh even when the two lovers cry.

Their new band - Spring Breakup – uses nothing more than simple ukulele and banjo riffs and traded couplets, but anyone familiar with either artist knows that is all these songs need. Spring Flings starts the record and tells a story we’ve all been through before. Kim and Mathias offer up their thoughts on a new relationship with a foundation of attraction not substance (the fabulous hair of an underwear model) and one that flies too close to the sun, quickly burns its wings and plummets to a watery grave.

As you'd expect, the disc flies by – 10 songs and a slight 32 minutes – but the duo’s humor and charisma make it more entertaining than you’d think it could be. The heartache and anger of Came up Roses sets the tone perfectly for the record. It should be sad to hear a couple talking about their love falling apart, but the imagery makes it impossible to not smile along (perfect example? Mathias admits Cupid must have been drunk when he fired his arrow). Young Love is a collection of overused clichés, but somehow Kim and Mathias manage to play turn those common phrases into a touching 3-minute affair. On the closer - Hummiah - Mathias uses a simple drum machine beat and some lovely placed guitar and harmonies on the chorus to create an engaging spoken word of the icy cold of an unrequited Artic love.

They make you laugh and they make you cry; actually, on most songs they accomplish both, but Spring Breakup isn't just clever phrasing or cute images. With a few picked notes they trigger the nostalgia of that new love that consumed our every thought so many moons ago (just listen to the two-minute ditty, Cosmic Sea). Kim and Mathias also know when to change the emotion and give the listener moments of tenderness and beauty. The classic banjo that drives Peepers & Howlers lets Barlow and Kom show off how well their unique voices work together. Leaky Pail is stunning and out of nowhere, they drift into the beautiful, instrumental sounds of Deep Dark Waltz, a sophisticated track that you wouldn’t expect it to be found on this quickly record LP.

Like love itself, Spring Breakup seems so simple on the surface, but once it gets a hold of you, it can control your emotions and dominate your days. Speaking of which, the duo will be in town after Sappyfest and playing a day show @ The Company House on August 15th.

MP3:: Spring Breakup - Came Up Roses

MP3:: Spring Breakup - Leaky Pail


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Posted at 8:49 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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