The Danish Invasion
The 21 million of us who watched the Google Glass promotional video have incidentally heard “New Lipstick” and had a taste of Kissaway Trail’s youthful and anthemic sound, but they aren’t quite a household name yet. Slowly, they’re making their way from Odense, Denmark into the American consciousness and maybe Breach is where they’ll fully cross over, but it’s just as likely they’ll become lost in an already established canon.
The Trail name their primary influences as Sonic Youth, Daniel Johnston, Pixies and The Beach Boys, but Breach isn’t a far cry from prominent indie acts like Arcade Fire and The Flaming Lips. It’s hard to not think of Coyne or Butler when hearing “Cuts of Youth,” the most vibrant and singsong offering on Breach. Other strong tracks include a nod their motherland with “Nørrebro” and of course, “The Springsteen Implosion,” which is the most aggressive and wonderfully titled of the bunch. They switch up the pace a couple times, offering euphoric vibes in the minimal “Sarah,” but others like “Robot” feel like filler. Altogether, the most memorable moments are the warm campfire ones. Ones that fit an eternal summer into a three minute song and remind us to feel young.
Band member Mydtskov describes the record as “more in-your-face” than past endeavors, but Kissaway Trail surely hasn’t abandoned their fascination with dreamy rock. This new incarnation of the band is a result of subtraction, with the loss of two founding members. Surprisingly though, it isn’t all too different from their past affairs; maybe this is a result of keeping the primary songwriters on board. The real question here is how this band, one famous for live performances, will be able to achieve the gigantic sound of Breach as a trio.
Perhaps the greatest setback of this album is that it rarely diverges from the indie template established by their influences. If an album fails to stand out from its predecessors, why not just stick to the pioneers of the genre? Breach is solid, but it’s hard to imagine it as a prized possession. Our flannel-clad youth are more likely to remember the Yoshimi‘s and Neon Bible‘s that came before it.