"What If I Stopped Breathing?" CDEP
Genres: emo, indie rock
5160 SW 20th St.
April 6 - 13 2002
it emo, call it pop-punk, call it whatever you want, but Stretching
FM know what they're doing, even if what they're doing isn't all
that great. It isn't bad, either - it's kind of in the
middle. Let's examine the evidence.
"In My Youth" is a catchy little number that's
reminiscent in a more-than-coincidental way to Sunny Day Real
Estate, except with a more youth-oriented bent. It's emo in
its purest form - angst-ridden vocals, depressing guitar melodies, and
hey, there's even some emotional keyboard playing in there as
well! Aside from the fact that it's easy to poke fun at (all emo
is), the song is actually pretty good, standing out as the best of the
five on this ep.
"A Fall Project" is more of the same, really, except with
a bit more charge in the guitar and a bit more teen angst in the
vocals. The lyrics about a failed relationship don't help things
either, although the band manages to avoid being too
sappy. While those with little tolerance for the whole emo scene
will explode in fury while taking the song in, fans of the genre will
find themselves quite at home.
"Savannah", which follows the two songs, is like a failed
"Fall Project". Instead of containing itself, it goes
in for the full-on angsty sap deluxe and, as a result, is just too
bloody whiny for my taste. And the
lets-try-to-be-poetic-but-fail lyrics don't help matters.
Altogether, What If I Stopped Breathing? is a very mixed
affair. While it has some good parts, it is also flawed in
numerous ways. And while this may pose a problem for casual
listeners, emo fans will surely find a lot to like in the band.
And, hey, this is their first release; even though it's flawed, it
shows quite a bit of promise for the future. Stretching FM
have musical talent, they just haven't quite reached their highpoint