Breton's background as a band is interesting.
Primarily independent film-makers that turned their hands to music in order to soundtrack their own works, this debut album features a vast number of field recordings, songs derived from the subconscious delving practise of automatic writing, with the technical process of crafting the finished product started in a disused South London bank basement, fleshed out in Sigur Ros' Reykjavik based studio and then handed over to a German composer who contributed orchestral recordings.
Not that any of this is particular obvious when listening to Other Peoples Problems.
It certainly serves to create a unique selling point of a skewed artistic vision, but perhaps what it does for actual expectations is bordering on detrimental.
This isn't saying anything against the album itself, as taken on it's own merits, it is in fact a rather good album, but perhaps just not as arty as they would like to suggest.
The sound of the album itself is actually enjoyably hard to pin down, gathering together many different threads and genres within a little over 40 minutes running time, yet it never feels heavily laden, to the contrary, the album flows fantastically as the sounds mutate through slight shifts as each track progresses.
A number of tracks, and opener Pacemaker in particular, sound as if they would be an advertising executives dream choice for soundtracking new car promos, straddling a light and darkness that make the tracks teasingly sumptuous, the right blend of effortless cool and marketable edge, and as the album progresses through angular artrock and downtrodden beats, this ethos remains, as the music seems to shun attention, yet remains accessible regardless.
When sounding most like a 'band', Breton recall early Bloc Party and The Rakes, and sometimes border into something like Foals territory, occasionally they stray into a darker, dub infused place that would suit Massive Attack or Unkle, and at other times, as a more urgent bouncing synth or pulsating beat aims at an electronic influenced trajectory, Breton could find themselves crossing over into music that would be right at home released though Diplo's Mad Decent label, as evident on the shoegazing electro-carnival cut'n'shunt of Jostle.
Even after a number of listens, it does seem that Other Peoples Problems is lacking an earworm chorus or potential crossover hit, remaining far too subtle and elusive to have factored into the mix a real 'pop' appeal amongst their vast melting pot of influences and genres.
But repeated listens do reveal a rich tapestry that reflects a wide cross section of 21st century living, a current world where art and culture and multiple genres co-exist and clash, and Breton capture this moment in time almost effortlessly.
Released: Wed 28th Mar 2012