North East quintet channel classic indie on new single
Sounding like a mixture of U2, Starsailor and the Simple Minds, Newcastle’s Keep Breathing are starting to make waves nationally. Bassist Thom Lewis spoke about their origins recently “As a band we’ve been together for about four to five years, but under different names and doing different styles of music. About one or two years ago we took a year out to develop the band and the music and move onto something different.” This change in direction appears to be paying off as they’ve supported the likes of Drenge, Palma Violets, the Vaccines, Peace, Temples and the Fall and they have a new single Weather Warning coming out next month too.
Weather Warning is as cinematic as it is paean. Opening with a catchy guitar riff and vocals that conjure up Bono at his most anthemic, Weather Warning carries on in this vein until its catchy bombastic chorus kicks in. You get the feeling that when this is played live, it all goes off. One thing is for certain, Keep Breathing mean what they’re selling. This isn’t a song that was written to fulfil a recording obligation.
Having said this, there are downsides to Weather Warning. The feeling that we’ve heard it all before kicks in about the same time as the reverb heavy guitars. While there isn’t anything wrong with that, it does feel that Keep Breathing have taken a step back, rather than trying to write something forward thinking. I’m not saying that you write edgy changeling music to make a point, look at Years and Years for example, but given their collective musical abilities, this does feel a bit too easy. You get the feeling that this song would be perfectly suited to a 1980’s film where the handsome, but troubled male lead makes an impassioned and melodramatic play for the girl from the wrong side of the tracks in the final reel. And just like the male lead’s character development, this too feels a bit easy.