Review: Ego Likeness – Breedless

At Softsynth we usually follow a “timeliness rule” that states if we are going to review an album it has to be within a few weeks of its release whilst still fresh and new, if we miss that window (see: Chew Lips), no review, we’ll find other ways to talk about the band. We’re making an exception in the case of the newest album by US band Ego Likeness.

Their album, Breedless sat in our downloaded file for a number of weeks following it’s April release without our bothering to listen. Why? Well, we like the band, especially tasty songs like “Isobel”  and “Wolves”, but they weren’t what one would call a “priority band” and we were contending with a rush of quality new material to get through.

Now that the inbox has cleared a bit and we had a chance to start giving Breedless its turn at the well and damn if we weren’t sitting on a corker.This album emerges as one of the most delightful surprises of 2010. A sharp turn for the duo, Breedless is a harder-hitting, more emotional, more gutsy album than we’ve seen from them. The power of this clutch of songs is comes as something of a shock. There was always a kind of sleepy languidity surrounding much of their material in the past – not that there’s anything wrong with that, music of that genus has its place in the pantheon of electronic music, but this sure seems a lot more fun.

The album opens with “Sirens and Satellites” and right away we’re taken on a ride. Jangly guitar chords and plinky synth runs propel the track along nicely behind a terrific vocal from Donna Lynch. The party continues on the amazing, sprightly title track and on through “Inferno” which sounds like a high quality Cruxshadows song with a less pretentious, less taxing vocal. On and on as we pour through this album each song brings us surprises and impressive energy that never flags. Lynch’s voice is lovely and used perfectly to counterpoint the harder edge of the sounds than on previous material.

The album is so good it’s forced us to go back and rediscover how solid previous albums like 2004’s Water to the Dead really were. For years this great band have kind of bubbled just beneath the surface and it’s a treat to get to discover them all over again. They are a welcome and refreshing addition to the electronic stable and are showing new maturity and ever-improved musical chops that point to ever-greater things yet to come.

Watch: Second Skin (live) {no material from Breedless yet available to share…)

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