The winds of change are blowing through the city and with it come The Breezes, a quartet well versed in indie rock, with a healthy serving of surf reverb and rhythm and blues on the side. On Jan. 20 The Breezes launched their self-titled EP at Casa Del Popolo. Recorded in the summer of 2009 the EP features five songs.
Members James Benjamin, Adam Feingold, Matty Oppenheimer Jr. and Daniel Leznoff are not quite new to the local scene; each has played, or is still playing, in various established bands. In addition to being experienced, each member brings a distinct influence to the music of The Breezes. The combination of experience and influence makes for a shape shifting set that never settles into a clear genre.
They began with a high-energy intro that could only be labelled as pure gonzo showmanship. A member emerged to the sound of pre-recorded hand claps fit for a vintage game show, then came the over the top wink and game show host impression. Next came the music.
The first half of the show was just too heavy on the synth and moog, while the second half had a clear R&B agenda, complete with drum machines. As they made their way through the tracks of the EP they tried to recapture some the energy spent on their off-kilter start.
The band pulled a page out of Girl Talk’s playbook and invited everyone on to the stage &- which was met with limited success. During the final song, one of the singers went into the crowd, doing jumping jacks back and forth in a last bid to get more people moving.
It had the potential to be a great, if not memorable, set had their musicianship not been blown off course.
DJ USB Saxophone, Ellis Steinberg, Frenchwestindies, and Jane Vain and the Dark Matter filled in as openers.
The trio, Frenchwestindies started very low-key, with a simple line up of two guitars and a drum kit, but built up to a bigger, much richer sound towards the end. The harmonies between the two singers were mostly hit-and-miss.
Jane Vain & The Dark Matter, fronted by singer Jamie Fooks, left much more of an impression. With their irregular time signatures and catchy riffs, Jane Vain & The Dark Matter drew just as much from punk rock as they did from indie.
With the recent disaster in Haiti in mind, the EP launch took on a charitable cause. That night, Casa del Popolo staffers donated all their tips to charity, for Haiti, collecting over $700 throughout the evening. The Breezes also donated all profits from the sale of their EP to Haitian relief.