"Tarnish And Undress"

(RU Records 2007)Breech - Tarnish And Undress

The band that once held regular bake sales outside of concerts in order to finance their album "Apron Strings," Breech have returned with their fifth release. On "Tarnish and Undress" the band offers fourteen dark treats that are not as bad for you as those pear custard tarts that singer Missy Gibson is famous for. Gibson's robust and emotional vocals, bringing to mind Portishead's Beth Gibson, mingle with smooth, stripped down instrumentation that is as passionate as it is melodic.

Smart listeners know not to mess with Gibson. She delivers her attitude, daring you to cross her on the full and melodic "Girl of a Mess" and the demanding piano-led "Schubert Waltz," which hints at a rowdy underbelly. Breech keeps you on your toes with the slowly creeping tone of "Safe Here" before finding a mid tempo groove reminiscent of PJ Harvey on "Unrequited." A thumping bass riff keeps the low key and slinking "Time Won't Heal" moving as the instrumentation fills in and builds up while guitars offer a dark melody on the quicker "Pristine."

It takes some patience on the part of listeners as they encounter a gradual yet intense build up to the real action that "Tarnish and Undress" offers. But by the time the album gets halfway through, Breech are comfortably in the zone and, boy, are they sticking to their formula. There are tracks on "Tarnish and Undress" that are vibrant, engaging and moody while others are almost sluggish given the ordering of the tracks -- which may be the key.