The energy that is first exerted by Morello during their opening to “Twelve Ways To Breathe” is without comparison. During this first track “Fade Out”, the band is able to make a compelling guitar line work with a set of vocals that moves between energetic and introspective. While this approach is interesting t say the least, it is not something that is commonly used by acts. The sheer newness of this approach to most listeners will give Morello more time to prove themselves than most new acts normally get. The track may be able to make it big on rock radio, but the band seems to be in a very interesting position by the end of the track. Morello needs to continue crafting their own sound, something that seems to elude them during the second half of “Fade Out”.
The band keeps up the energy and ferocity during “Don’t Touch Me”, but moves away from the catchy sound of “Fade Out”. In this sense, the band moves into a “Moneky Wrench”-era Foo Fighters sound, which is coupled with a Used type of sound. The raunchier rock sound of “Dynamite” seems to be the gold mine for Morello, as the band seems much more confident in this style than in anything else that preceded it. The band does not completely jettison previous styles, but incorporates them into something that is highly energetic and is something that will rivet individuals down to their seats for the rest of the disc. “Over-rated” is a track that seems almost as if Morello is pushing too hard, trying to force an intensity that does not work at this point of the disc.
The rock sound is something that has a lot in common with acts like The Vines and The Hives, but the track bubbles over more than once wit all the excess energy that is present. Morello has a tremendous amount of talent but their next album has to be something that focuses the band even more than “Twelve Ways to Breathe” does. There are a few solid, if not great tracks on “Twelve Ways To Breathe”, but songs like the aforementioned “Over-rated” just attempt to do too much or push too hard to be categorized a complete success. This album has an unpolished allure to it, a “diamond in the rough” feel, and I would like to hear what the band comes up with when they remove the jags from their music.
Top Tracks: You’ve Always Got Something To Say, The Future Brings
Morello – Twelve Ways To Breathe / 2006 I Scream / 12 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/morello / http://www.iscreamrecords.com / Reviewed 06 December 2006