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Breaking Waves - 'Move A Mountain' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ab/03/54/breaking-waves-move-a-mountain-63-1442947325.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 22, 2015    
 
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Both an interesting and quality debut.

'Move A Mountain' is the debut album from Phil Ireland and Adam Darwen as Breaking Waves. With Ireland handling bass plus vocals and Darwen the drums, they form a duo with such a huge sound that it's hard to believe that there's just the two of them on record. Known for some outstanding bass work in his previous outfit Exit State, Ireland shows himself to be a virtuoso performer on his chosen instrument, handing bass, rhythm and even a few lead lines in unison. Whilst '...Mountain' is firmly based in the Rock field, fronting his own outfit seems to have allowed a variety of styles with some Funk, Pop and even Jazz influences thrown into a collection of tunes that are both technically outstanding on a musically front as well as being packed full of energy and harmonies.

'Start At The End' is a fairly simplistic opening, a bass riff full of harmonies leading into an almost Rush-like Progressive rhythm. 'Everything I Worry About' sees the pair in full-power mode with a track that would have fitted easily in the Alternative Rock of ES; a hard fast riff, a bass lead break and strong vocals give it a massive sound overcoming the lack of standard guitar with ease. Next up follows a couple of more commercial sounding offerings with 'Savour' and 'Quicksand'; the "higher end" bass tones providing the melodies with great use of the harmonics of the instrument and the lower "normal" bass range providing the accents and emphasis.

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Darwen's drumming is excellent throughout, with enough variation and use of cymbals to supplement and compliment the bass lines without ever becoming overbearing. He steals the performance of 'Warp The World' which is a track full of time changes and intensity with a varied and inventive series of rhythms.

There will be comparisons drawn, no doubt, with the bass and drum line-up of Royal Blood and the impact they made last year. But Ireland's ability to pick out different riffs and leads with each hand, on both five and six string basses, make Breaking Waves something different. 'Not That Easy' excels with a Funky swing to it whilst title track 'Move A Mountain' again effortlessly combines bass and lead riffs with a strong vocal performance and even a sing-along chorus. Most importantly, this is an album virtually without overdubs; those double riffs are played live and recreated onstage by the pair.

Whilst 'Move A Mountain' may not be the best album you'll hear all year, it works well on many levels – top musicianship, power and energy combined with a commercial accessibility. Given the unusual premise of bass and drums only, it's both an interesting and quality debut.

Ian Parry

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