While making Breech's latest album, lead singer and
songwriter Missy Gibson endured months of pregnancy
and morning sickness without missing a recording session.
The result of her efforts (besides a child, of course)
is the excellent Tarnish and Undress, a tight album
that showcases Gibson's vocal talents, which can be
compared with the likes of PJ Harvey, Margo Timmins
(of Cowboy Junkies) and another Gibson - Beth, from
Portishead. You may have heard Breech on tour with
Weezer, White Stripes or Liz Phair, or on television
on the WB's "Dawson's Creek," but if you
haven't, you could do worse than to start with this,
their fifth album.
Album-opener "Grounded" combines a steady,
marching beat with teasing, tantalizing vocals ("I'm
a bad girl, I'm a sinner") that soar and swoop,
carrying the listener along for the ride atop smooth,
nonintrusive instrumentation which, while melodic,
rightfully lets Gibson take the stage front and center.
She shrieks ("Keeper of the Key") and she
croons ("Safe Here") but she always commands
your attention. There are also plenty of moments when
the music rears its head, and the result is often a
delightful collision of sound, edgy and intense, as
with "Unrequited" and "Texas." Also
not to be missed are the album's two waltzes, "Schubert
Waltz" and "Sweet One (Stalker Waltz), dark
little ditties that let Gibson's voice dance around
Favorite Track: "Keeper of the Key"
Michael Fiegel is a freelance writer and graphic designer. His diverse
background includes journalism, radio copywriting, technical writing,
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