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While I Breathe, I Hope - Long Live the King (Cover Artwork)

While I Breathe, I Hope

While I Breathe, I Hope: Long Live the KingLong Live the King (2006)
Armada in Flames / Smith 7

Reviewer Rating: 3


Contributed by: cbolandcboland
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It takes a lot in this day and age to be an optimist. Especially when you're a band adrift in the rolling seas of gloomy, nihilistic and usually masochistic music. If you're going to call your band While I Breathe, I Hope, you better not sing about slitting your wrists with the breakup letter your e.


It takes a lot in this day and age to be an optimist. Especially when you're a band adrift in the rolling seas of gloomy, nihilistic and usually masochistic music. If you're going to call your band While I Breathe, I Hope, you better not sing about slitting your wrists with the breakup letter your ex-girlfriend sent just before you slit her throat. These, sadly, are routine lyrics for most "heavy" bands in this foul year of 2006. The pessimism oozes across the musical spectrum: big shot hip-hop acts to arena-filling emo rock outfits. Gone are the posi messages so rampant in the early `90s, from Public Enemy to Fugazi.

WIBIH identify with those halcyon optimistic days. Their lyrics involve overcoming personal and political obstacles. They criticize George W. in "Let's Roll" ("You usher in our defeat / Passing off the blame"). They cite the arduous nature of their forbears in "Start Anew" ("People like my father break their backs / And die so soon, so poor and lonely"). They might be Christians: two songs begin with the phrase "God knows." Another includes the line "Jesus your name has been to hell." But the band seem willing to ask questions and fight tooth and nail for what they believe.

Much of the material brings to mind an updated "Midwest emo" sound that once dominated many a stereo in the late `90s. Bands like Braid, Promise Ring, Mid Carson July (though they were from Pennsylvania) and Get Up Kids excelled in crafting songs under this rubric. "Barbara Marx" and "Fall in Place" display the sound well. The production is rather thin, the snare sounding more like a cardboard box. That doesn't hinder the raw energy of the songs.

WIBIH walk the tightrope of mid-tempo melodic punk. It's a balancing act of heavier hardcore with brighter indie rock. Reference "I Apologize" for further evidence, though this is not a cover of the ace Hüsker Dü song. Let's hope they continue as one link in the bulwark against downer, frown-faced mascara-caked boy bands.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
clamum (December 21, 2006)

"It's the South Carolina state motto, smart guy."

I'll be damned. It just sounds so pathetic and emo though.

Anonymous (December 16, 2006)

Funny thing is that only one of the dudes in the band listens to Hot Water Music, and I think he actaully left the band!

Jeremy Townsend (Vocals) told me that out of the three recording of the song "Fantasia," in the first version he says "Jesus your name has been to hell," and in the second version he changed it to "This is all going downhill" because he didn't want to be thought of as a Christian band. I think they changed it back at the last minute, a decision that Jeremy regrets. If you listen to their older stuff (especially "Shake Your Hand and Slap Your Face," it's pretty obvious that these dudes hate church and religion and all the shit that goes with it, so it's pretty funny that the reviewer questions if they are a Christian band. "We'll write the rules so fuck the critics" is comparable to some of DC Talk's earlier stuff... maybe even Audio Adrenaline, don't you think?

Scruffy (December 12, 2006)

Also, I think a song should be named "But who the fuck is Mid Carson July?".

Scruffy (December 12, 2006)

"But who the fuck is Mid Carson July?"

A pretty rad 90s emo band turned into a pretty good early FBR punk band.

Mute98 (December 11, 2006)

sounds good but im sick of so many people saying that "oh this band brings it back to a time without arena emo rock" acting like theyre the only band doin that

Anonymous (December 11, 2006)

wibih is sweet

Anonymous (December 10, 2006)

"HAHAHAHA

What fuckin emo kid came up with that band name? HAHAHAHA wow. Must've been taken out of the dude's 8th grade diary or something."

Jeremy Townsend is gonna come to your house and roast your ass.

lanemyer (December 10, 2006)

"HAHAHAHA

What fuckin emo kid came up with that band name? HAHAHAHA wow. Must've been taken out of the dude's 8th grade diary or something."

It's the South Carolina state motto, smart guy.

Anonymous (December 10, 2006)

i dont know dude, my whole life is full of hope, and its still shit.

clamum (December 10, 2006)

HAHAHAHA

What fuckin emo kid came up with that band name? HAHAHAHA wow. Must've been taken out of the dude's 8th grade diary or something.

feeeding5000 (December 10, 2006)

Ahem, "Blecch".

eyeslikebombs (December 9, 2006)

"fight tooth and nail for what they believe."

Was this an attempt at a pun? Because it'd be a rather funny one, I think.

Icapped2pac (December 8, 2006)

I'm guessing I would like these guys since I am (or was at one time) a big fan or Hot Water Music, Braid, Get Up Kids, and to a lesser degree, Promise Ring and Jawbreaker. But who the fuck is Mid Carson July?

Adam_K (December 8, 2006)

Band rules.

My Clipse review is better than this.

BTown (December 8, 2006)

The EP version of that song says This is all going to Hell. Not sure why they changed it to Jesus your name has been to hell.

I was really hoping this would be better, but its still pretty good.

Anonymous (December 8, 2006)

yikes. this guy is aping chuck ragan realllly bad.

Anonymous (December 8, 2006)

great band!

Inspection12e (December 8, 2006)

I was hoping this would be alot better.

Anonymous (December 8, 2006)

This review doesn't do this CD justice. In fact, I think the author did a terrible job at describing their sound. Most often, this band is compared to Hot Water Music, Braid, and Jawbreaker.

DarrenMcLeod (December 8, 2006)

Nice review. Not a bad disc.

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