Every band has to start somewhere and for Beyond the Break, it starts with their debut EP Pictures of Losing Sleep. Well, no band really starts with their debut EP; most bands start by playing and playing and playing live shows (often times in many different bands) and trying to find the cash to put together a package of recordings for people to be able to bring home, but let’s just say that somewhere down the line Beyond the Break are a heavy touring band with fans throughout the UK (the band hails from South Wales) or even multiple fans in other countries, these fans will consider Pictures of Losing Sleep to be where the band started. I may be getting ahead of myself here, but I found this to be an interesting concept to start this review off with.
There are no real tricks or schemes. All four of the tracks on Pictures of Losing Sleep were recorded on tape. No computers or auto tuning or anything. When we listen to opening track Mother Love we hear all of Beyond the Break‘s good rocking moments as well as their imperfections. We hear the punk influence on closing track Big Wait and it sounds like it was recorded in the height of the punk movement. We hear the tightness of the band on The Way It Was and the nice melodies of the EPs title track do not go unnoticed. Sure some songs stand out better than others – the middle two tracks in particular spark my ear – but even at its worst moments Pictures of Losing Sleep is a good example of how music should be recorded.
As an EP, Pictures of Losing Sleep‘s songs are good and show Beyond the Break‘s intentions of rocking hard. They kind of lack significance in that they need more hooks. You don’t totally need to do anything completely different to be taken seriously. It would help but not every band can, or wants to. What is important is realizing the difference between a good song, and a good song with a good hook. The former of the two is forgotten almost instantly, while the latter has potential to stay in its listeners head. The title track comes to mind as a song that shows Beyond The Break are more than capable of this. I hear that the effort is all there, and the outcome isn’t bad. Actually it is good, but as always there is potential for growth, and I’d like to believe Beyond the Break are capable of going in the right direction.
“The Way It Was” – I hear the most effort put in to this song. I like how the band sounds together and I like the in your face approach The Way It Was takes.
6.5 (Out of 10)
|2.||The Way It Was||3:45|
|3.||Pictures of Losing Sleep||3:47|