Taco Hell - Breathe Deeply (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Taco Hell

Breathe Deeply (2016)


Taco Hell's five-song EP Breathe Deeply is a surprising, emotive tour through the dreamier side of punk rock - the title track, instead of bringing to mind Green Day or Fugazi, evokes Swervedriver and the harder shoegaze bands in its pounding, gorgeous guitar atmospherics and Eleanor Parkinson's backing vocals asking us to "breathe deeply". The tension and frustration throughout these songs churns back and forth into desperation and into joy, as on "Audrey", clearly a plea for salvation. The first two songs are less dreamy and more pop punk a la Joyce Manor, but that aura of pain is still there. But it's the last three tracks that have an edge to them, of a band exploring its options and what sound it can throw out.

Breathe Deeply doesn't have the best production values, the drums not quite mixed right, but Taco Hell has a strong guitar sound and Parkinson and Brooker's voices blend together in their aggression and melody in a nice, solid balance. Is it the best new pop punk band of the year? Not quite, but Breathe Deeply shows a band comfortable in their strengths and trying new things. It's a strong collection that never pauses for breath and wants you to come for the ride.