The increased variance in their play should attract fans anew.
Raziq Rauf 2009-11-18
This is either the fourth or fifth album from the London-based Gibraltarian Mafia, depending on how you look at it. Breed 77’s last album, Un Encuentro, was pretty much a best of compilation with a twist – it was sung in Spanish. Does that count as an original studio album? Either way, it’s been almost three years since its release. The signs, however, are strong as modern alternative icons Sasha Grey and Kat Von D have endorsed Insects, and they’ve enjoyed radio support from Bruce Dickinson.
Breed 77 in 2009 retain a classic alternative metal feel about them, and that’s always going to rankle as much as it’s going to be hugely popular. Perhaps it’s the invention associated with the fusing of fast traditional metal and staccato flamenco beats, or possibly how the band is pictured wearing a variety of gasmasks and straightjackets in the jerky, spasmodic video to the fierce Wake Up. Maybe it’s just that insect-based imagery will always evoke bittersweet memories of repeated listening to Papa Roach’s breakthrough album, Infest.
While the music still has tinges of their Spanish influences, Breed 77 rely on it a lot less here, instead adopting a harder, faster (but still just as melodic) approach. The velvety clarity that Paul Isola’s voice used to have is still there, but he’s added frequent muscle and occasional grit to the delivery. Take The Battle of Hatin, for instance. Opening with a jangled tambourine and slightly Hispanic-sounding guitars, Isola’s voice initially soars over the top before descending into a consistent growl. The fine guitars of the title track are accompanied by insistent rhythms and vocals that are as frantic as they are measured. It’s a welcome variance in their play and one that’s going to win them even more fans.
It’s just a shame that Breed 77 chose to include their cover of The Cranberries’ Zombie as a suffix to an otherwise very solid album. Despite this, just as each album has increasingly fortified their standing in the world of hard rock, Insects will retain existing fans of the flamenco metal and will surely gain a few more to boot.