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And A Few To Break - Procession

Released on Relatively Conscious Records, 12/12/06

A stunning debut from San Francisco locals And A Few To Break. This epic, survivalist approach to post hardcore sounds at once like everything and nothing you have ever heard. These fellas have something to fight for and this becomes quickly evident within the first few scream-along seconds of Procession.

Recorded at John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone Studios with Aaron Prellwitz manning the board (the capable hands that brought us Hella, Neil Young, and The Mountain Goats), this record is an all-out showcasing of the virtuosity of each band member coupled with an enthusiastic and refreshing approach to songwriting and structural concept.

Procession is one of those albums that practically makes your ears itch in aural sense memory. It is an onslaught of overlapping stylistic inspiration, paying homage to their influences but done with the thoughtful and artful skill of a true admirer. Just when you think you can place a certain sound, categorize a chorus, or classify a progression, the entire mood shifts, the feeling is gone and you are left reeling.

This quintet can change a mood like a Mid-western storm system, jumping from sun to ice and back again. Lead singer Brady’s vocals are tender and sly, moving through the album with an under-emphasized sense of style and grace where most vocalists would have chosen a more obvious and aggressive approach. They creep, whisper, and explode at will, leaving room for the assault of guitar dueling and rhythmical power-housing that sweeps through Procession, broken only by velveteen instrumentals and sinuous wails. It is these lulls that give us breath, lending life to sorry souls, providing fuel for the fire.

The album is seamless, a series of tracks merging into one another, reinventing themselves in the process and ending with the epic “Procession” trilogy. And while the expansiveness of sound and concept can at times be overwhelming, these guys are so far ahead of the game; it’s a forgivable offense in a one-minute world, and well worth the enigma.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars