Breton - War Room Stories

Possessed by a live electricity...
Breton - War Room Stories

Having three inches of bullet-proof glass surrounding them at all times seems to have provided the trigger for Breton to step things up a notch.

Following on from the thudding indietronica of 2012’s ‘Other People’s Problems’, the band has thrown itself into achieving an “atmosphere” for this second full-length, something they stressed when Clash paid them a visit in Berlin during the recording process. (Read the feature.)

Working in an old communist radio station in the east of the capital, they were faced with a sound engineer's wet dream – loads of old ‘50s equipment as well as various nooks and crannies to carry out found-sound recordings. Using the Foley rooms that the GDR used to stage radio plays in, they’ve had every single sound effect they could dream of at their fingertips.

The five-piece has been mastering the DIY aesthetic for a while now. The product of squat culture, south London and Goldsmiths university, the group serves as a reminder to the fact that guitar music – indie, really – is still relevant, and still deserving of our undivided attention.

When Clash met up with them, the boys professed to wanting to recreate the electricity that comes from playing live, a quality they’ve certainly captured over these 10 cuts. Driving guitar strums and lightning-paced drums break into rousing choruses on ‘S Four’ and ‘Legs & Arms’, with emotion-laden wails from frontman Roman Rappak. Proving that the recorder and harpsichord marry happily with juddering synth sounds comes ‘302 Watch Towers’, while ‘Got Well Soon’ (video below) unfolds like a motorbike revving its engine.

The attraction of this LP is the thought that’s gone into it – every sound that you hear has been meticulously planned and recorded using, possibly, something that the Stasi might have once used. What more d’you want?

8/10

Words: Felicity Martin

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