Formed in Athens in 2013, Greek four piece Breath After Coma have just released their self-titled debut 6 track EP. With a sound heavily influenced by the famous Seattle Grunge scene which dominated rock music in the early 90’s along with some classic, stoner and hints of blues thrown in for good measure, the band themselves say this is a simplistic, almost primitive record which takes us the listener as close to the band’s live sound as we can be without it being a live album or gig. Let’s see if this first breath is worth it.
As mentioned before, the band themselves have admitted that this is a simplistic, straight forward record with a handful of influences and the opening track, “Every Day King” confirms that. It has a real bright sounding intro with a chunky alternative rock feel to it, utilising crisp distortion and catchy melodic hooks. Vocally, it has that Pearl Jam meets Nirvana feel to it which goes with the feel of the track. It’s nothing flashy, just some simple structure and catchy hooks which would make this song seem at home on mainstream radio.
“Adoration” is where things begin to take a different path. With more of a dirty bluesy sound to it and the punchiness of stoner rock, it gets a little heavier. Using clean lines in the verse and switching it up for the big impact in the chorus with that Seattle-sound distortion which just explodes out of nowhere, it allows the vocals which follow it to have more of a ‘pained’ feel to them, almost like the Cobain-esque wail/grunt. It has a catchy rhythm/lead interplay section and the final chorus does sound bigger but it isn’t anything spectacular. “3AM” and “4AM” follow this up and they’re two totally different songs. ‘3AM’ is more blues based groove with a real attitude filled solo and stands out as one of the highlights of the track, whilst ‘4AM’ follows the formula of Nirvana’s Negative Creep – fast and pointless. Sure, the track is rather energetic, but it is a bit shit too.
“Betray Me” is the best track of the release by far. A real emotional piece of music which is expressive and solid sounding. Not quite ballad like in its delivery, but clearly full of mood, it’s a raw number which is simple and highly effective in its delivery – the simple chord progressions, bigger sounds in the chorus and stripped back melodic lead work well with the passionate vocal delivery to create a real gem of a track! “Fake Gun” closes the release and it goes back to the alternative rock feel. With a simple, steady paced chug backing them up, the darker sounding vocals work well in the verse but they get a lot rawer in the chorus which has a good impact. As the track progresses, the sound does get bigger and the subtle lead melodies hidden behind that thick chunky sound add an extra edge here and there but the best part is the heavy guitar break before the pounding groove laden ending.
In all, this isn’t a bad debut EP, but at the same time it isn’t spectacular either. Like all releases it has some great moments (i.e Betray Me) and some pretty abysmal ones (4AM) but on the whole, it balances itself out. Clocking in at just under half an hour, it isn’t heavy or intensive listening either, so you can easily listen to it multiple times or on the go with little fuss or need to ‘get into it’. It might be worth a listen if you fancy something more accessible sounding and in turn, it could lead you onto other Greek rock and metal acts like SolarMonkeys who have a similar style. Give it a go, what’s the worst that could happen?