Breaking Pangaea Phoenix

Now pared down to a duo of singer/songwriter/jazz-trained string plucker Fred Mascherino and drummer Will Noon, BP have modified their sound from that of their first two releases yet not in the expected way. Instead of refining their sound and stripping it down, they've actually re-defined it by cranking it up. Unlike the loud/quiet, soft/hard stylings of Cannon to a Whisper, the Phoenix EP rises from the emo ashes of that disc to a frantic metallic roar. Spending time touring with Coheed and Cambria and Thursday seems to have rubbed off on them. Consistent with past releases is the intensity, emotion and intricacy of the songs, which remain as powerful as ever. And they get a little help this time out from the engineering of Mike Fanuele which helps the songs snap with tight and bright production values. (Equal Vision)