Upon clicking to come here (if many even got that far), this review has probably already lost validity for most. If you are still reading this, hang in there with me- the justification is coming.
By many in the realm of rock music (rock music being stated in the most generic way possible), Breathe Carolina are often written off and discredited. This is usually because they aren’t considered ‘music’ or ‘talented’ because of their poppy auto-tune-based music. They are often considered posers by many in the ‘rock music’ world. Bands similar to them include ear root canal artists such as Brokencyde, The Bunny the Bear, and 3OH!3.
However, being connected with these bands simply isn’t fair for Breathe Carolina, because they aren’t like these bands. This is because of the simple idea of, ‘if it works, it works.’ While all of the above bands consistently put out frustratingly painful music, Breathe Carolina does things differently, and honestly, it works.
Personally, I am just as offended by the destruction of rock because of all of the bands coming around with their versions of painful poser rock as anyone else is, but on Hell is What You Make It, Breathe Carolina has become an exception to the rule.
Unlike most of their earlier stuff, this doesn’t just sound like two guys screaming to a garage band loop. They have put out an album that features 13 skillfully crafted and melodic pop songs. Hell is What You Make It seems to be the product of a band that is actually beginning to care about their musical reputation. The album sounds like a mixture of two separate genres, dance and screamo, which combine well to make an album that is both intense and catchy. Again, such combinations usually are a failure, but as stated previously, ‘if it works, it works.’
The album gets off to an intense start with the heavily dance-based tracks, “Wooly” and the current single from the album, “Blackout.” These songs are instant hits from the album; they are simply catchy and make one want to dance. Musically, these are also the perfect example of why Breathe Carolina don’t make sense, but for some unexplainable reason, are good anyway.
“Sweat it Out” is an intense track that has a very in-your-face sound. Musically, it sounds what I would expect a Deadmau5 song to sound like if it had a screaming element to it. The song is an excellently crafted dance song that shows the duo’s ability to pull off screamo dance music.
The album is predominately a dance album, but there are a few songs that are very rock-based, which combine this sound with some of the catchy dance flavor that the band is known for. Such tracks include “Get Off Easy” and “Lauren’s Song.” Both tracks are rock songs, but have that element to them that makes one want to dance. It’s unique, and although it is new territory for the duo, they pull it off well.
Hell is What You Make It is simply one of those albums that is inexplicably good. Musically, it doesn’t make sense and it does sound like pop music. However, as inexplicable as this is, it is good. The band has pulled off a great pop album, and has given a slight bit of credibility to a genre that previously hasn’t had any, and honestly, shouldn’t.
It might just be time for all of those ‘real’ music listeners out there to give their bias a rest for an album, and give this one a listen. It’s truly good and catchy, and it just might be time to accept that. When it works, it works- and this just simply works.