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The Pacific Northwest has long been known as a stronghold of alternative rock, although Portland's relatively recent rise to 'cultural mecca' has created something of a faddish scene that barely resembles its roots. Nonetheless, The Breaking - a band of 90's-raised Northwesterners from the Rose City - still carry the torch that illuminated their upbringing. Their debut self-titled LP is a testament to the depth of that artistic heritage.
The Breaking challenges convention in a way that earns the group an edge and authenticity. The songs are deliberate and gripping, and the band uses their contradicting influences to great advantage. Front-man Adam Sweeney's penchant for brooding minor-key introspection collides with lead guitarist Tim Karplus' affinity for mainstream pop hooks, while bassist Rick Bouvette ties it all together with a punchy low end. The band crafts original songs with mass appeal that remain firmly rooted in the alt rock tradition of the Cascadian glory days.
At once original and strikingly familiar, their debut LP is reminiscent of early Radiohead, R.E.M., Oasis and U2's Achtung Baby.
With two exploratory EPs under their belts, the band has landed on their definitive sound and channeled it into a debut full-length record, released in 2017. The Breaking has been bringing their energy-infused live shows to venues around the west coast from their native Portland, Oregon.
The band rounds out their work with frequent collaborators on recordings and live shows, with producer Rian Lewis (D.R.A.M., Priory) and drummers Mark Powers (M. Ward, Robert Wynia, Haley Johnsen), Cheo Larcombe (March Forth), Alexandra Geffel (Skull Diver, The Cabin Project), and Ben Kent (Ghosts I've Met).
"The Breaking has it going on! 'Gone Electric' emanates a powerful, irresistible sonic thrum. The contagious melody tumbles with a tantalizing rhythm that oozes into your soul, while Sweeney's compelling voice suffuses the tune with tumescent dynamics that undulate hauntingly... superb alt rock."
- Randy Radic, HuffPost read full article
"The Breaking are a crisp rock group, who have seemed to tap into some 90s alt rock nostalgia that many groups can only say they embody."
- Next Northwest
"Portland-based The Breaking is a newfound love for classic alternative fans. Reminiscent of Gin Blossoms, Meat Puppets and Toad The Wet Sprocket, these guys are the real deal... really fun, and very nostalgic."
- Cellar Door, Port Townsend, WA
"An alternative rock band from Portland, Oregon that mines the rich soundscape of mid-90s guitar pop."
- Global Texan Chronicles read full article
"Appealing in its originality and familiarity… the music of the 90's is alive in Portland!"
– Kelly Jones, Portland Radio Project (Portland, OR) read full article
"There's something always to be said for good old fashioned rock and roll. The Breaking have no pretense about what they are, which is refreshing. They're straight-laced alt-rock."
- Jimmy Donnellan, Cultured Vultures
"Though they ripple with a soft fluidity and rich echoing vocals, The Breaking's tunes exhibit a rigidity that reverberates with the concept of controlled chaos... It's a deftly executed idea... and one—even in a musical mecca like Portland—that feels brand new."
– Ethan Maffey, The Source Weekly (Bend, OR) read full article
"The Breaking prides itself as a '90s alternative rock revival band and criticizes the faddish Portland music scene... I would definitely prefer to listen to the earnest vocals of Adam Sweeney wailing away on a song like Gone Electric than another crappy [Portland] psych band filled with industry homies."
- Blake Hickman, Willamette Week (Portland, OR)
"A blend of alternative rock and synth-pop, with more than a little psychedelica in the mix as well."
- The Portland Mercury (Portland, OR)
"The Breaking hits the ground running with their debut EP, Current Through The Wire. The tracks thoroughly grasp the band's vintage rock sound… and will leave you hungry for more. This is a superb debut from a band with some serious musical chops."
– Ellene Smith, KZME 107.1FM (Portland, OR)
"Swirling psychedelic harmonies, jangly 12-string and growling reverb-laden electric guitars."
– The Southeast Examiner (Portland, OR)
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