BEECHER
"Breaking the Fourth Wall"

(Earache)

01. Let them Drown
02. Dead for Weeks
03. Burning Surface
04. Arrow Flies
05. Mercury Switch
06. Floating Point
07. The Only One I Know
08. Red Diesel
09. Cabin Boy Jumped Ship
10. An Important Letter
11. Ladder Theory
12. Crack Fiend
13. Let them Drown [BBC]
14. An Important Letter [BBC]
15. Arrow Flies [BBC]
16. Red Diesel [BBC]
17. Dead for Weeks (Lard Lubber Edit)

RATING: 7/10

Earache has plucked another band out of the U.K. heavy music scene, this time Manchester noisecore bashers BEECHER. Originally released in 2003 on Calculated Risk Products, "Breaking the Fourth Wall" will now see a worldwide release with bonus tracks. The Kurt Ballou production at Godcity studios harnesses the band's chaotic, semi-mathy, brand of 'core calamity and vitriolic verse, making "Breaking the Fourth Wall" stand apart, if just a bit, from the current crop of racket bandits saturating the market.

A tension-filled barrage of discordant guitars and spastic rhythms are matched with the efficient use of electronic effects and the occasional emo-esque (and usually awkward) clean vocal, making the ride less grating than any number of CONVERGE clones. A modicum of melody pops up on several of the tracks, though it's nothing that'll catapult the band onto the main stage at Ozzfest. Edward Godby sports a fuller scream than many of his compatriots and he belts it out like he means it. The distorted electronic madness of "Floating Point" and the trippy serenity of bonus track "Crack Fiend" won't be mistaken for filler and actually add to the dynamic quality of the album. The brief sections of driving riff slams break up the reckless abandon characterized by most of these numbers, allowing breathing room for those that can't take the constantly off-kilter abrasions of the more caustic end of the noisecore spectrum. As an added bonus, BBC Radio One Rock Show session versions of "Let Them Drown", "An Important Letter", "Arrow Flies", and "Red Diesel" are included.

As tough as it is to make a mark playing this style of abrasive clatter-and-batter, the members of BEECHER perform with true conviction and pack one hell of a punch. Not quite boundary pushing, "Breaking the Fourth Wall" still knocks the snot out of your average scathe-core album.

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