Top, from the left: Matt Hershey, Jeff Knowlton, Ben Lindell
Today, a new band named The Break Mission, released the album Alpha. Childhood friends Matt Hershey and Jeff Knowlton both played the drums, but once they decided to put together a band, one had to move to a different instrument. Matt stayed with the drums, while Jeff moved on to the guitar and piano. Later, the duo moved to Boston and started to carve out a nice career in music, picking up some musicians along the way, and putting out some recorded music. Soon they felt the call to New York, which they answered. Here, they added Ben Lindell to the group, and the duo became a trio. Flash forward to today, and the release of Alpha.
It is a 13-song offering that gives hints to some of the possible influence of the boys in the band, but never more than that, always maintaining a fresh and original sound. As I gave it the first lesson, I thought I heard hints of Pink Floyd, a little touch of U2, or maybe the Police. Yet none of the music sounds dated or derivative, just a great sound any rock band would be thrilled to incorporate as their own.
The above cut is the 5th cut off the album, Thieves. It shows the signs of great stadium rock, just yearning for a big light show. Alpha kicks off with Matter of Trust, which starts out with a sparse, almost acoustic feel, but doesn't stay in that vein for long, building to a strong rock ballad with some incredible harmonies in the chorus. Above the Noise and Back To Normal take on a more aggressive rock posture, with some intense and dense orchestrations. Son harkening back to some great folk wonderment, like the band had listened to early prog-rock, sustaining an acoustic subtlety favoring style and emotion over volume. Elevator Songs begins with the acoustic take before the added instrumentation builds elevates to song.
The title track runs just under a minute and a half of instrumental tastiness. Fight of Our Lives is ruled by the soulful vocals and acoustic piano to make an effective statement on life as it builds. Words might start off with a quiet, but quickly rocks it up, with a bold and interesting vocal arrangement. Honestly is a song that reminds me a bit of the Kings of Convenience, only electrified. There is such a sense of coolness, with a lovely and languid feel.
All Your Guns makes a political statement of love, with a complesity to the melody line that brings the track to new levels. Porcelain starts with the prog-rock feel, but quickly explodes into anthemic rock, all big and bold. The Street is a lyric treat, the poetry reminiscent of some of the early Paul Simon work, channeling moody pictures and set to conversational rhythms.
Hershey handles the percussion with an ease when it should be so, but also a vibrancy when asked. Knowlton guitar and keyboard work is varied and textured, and always top notch. His vocals also emit an emotional connection sure to be felt. Lindell takes the bass to a wonderful level, offering a layer of percussion as well as the intrinsic fullness to the base. He also chips in with the keyboards.
The album is available now on iTunes, and you can find it here. You can pick up all 13 tracks for just $9.99! You can check them out on their official website here, or their MySpace page here.