Although the label might carry connotations of substandard pop-punk, there's much to love about An Angle's second album: from main man Kris Anaya's confessional lyrics to the band's summery flourishes, We Can Breathe Under Alcohol is a surprising and satisfying listen.
Although the music - crafted by the hands and mouths of some 50 musicians over the course of ten tracks - stumbles haphazardly from the achingly sombre to the wide-smiled, Anaya's outlook remains forever bleak whatever the weather outside. 'A Way With Words' is the first of a handful of songs to match melancholy with an astute sense of melody to good effect; 'True Love', the very next song, prolongs the mood while incorporating some wonderfully maudlin strings alongside the Oberst/Smith-style tones of the band's linchpin. Suitably booze-stained folkie 'Born In A Bottle' comprises the centrepiece, its eight minutes spilling over with fractured croaks of love and regret, the plucked strings playing the part of bursting bubbles born from the very bottom of a half-empty bottle.
Whisper it: We Can Breathe... is a Drive-Thru release that warrants fevered investigation. Just don't take its bittersweet romaticism of alcohol to heart.
8Mike Diver's Score