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Take Time to Let It Breathe, Man

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Once in a great while, a band will come along whose moniker exemplifies its best qualities. (Weedeater and Mastodon immediately come to mind.) On their self-titled debut album, the Minnesota power trio known as Let It Breathe are doing exactly that. Covering the riff spectrum from psychedelic desert rock to proto-doom to thundering 1970s arena shakers, there is absolutely no rush to get things done. Let it breathe, man.

“Bucket Of Bulletheads” opens the album perfectly with some ominous keys and a fuzzed-out bass lick before singer/guitarist Randy Geraghty chimes in, his clean and clear voice shining through like the second coming of Grand Funk’s Mark Farner. The track flows naturally but doesn’t really adhere to any solid structure, a theme the band will come back to throughout the album. Its verses repeat, but drift in between shorter jams and a catchy hook that ends the song, well, just because. Let it breathe, man.

Geraghty’s crunchy guitar tone takes center stage on “Fat Lip,” recalling retro-minded peers The Golden Grass and Freedom Hawk. The central riff sustains the song, with drummer Jason Knudson and bassist Rob Rushing providing a rhythm base that lumbers like a steam locomotive; heavy as hell, but steady and straight ahead. “Greater Than I” is at first more cohesive, but once the band finds a riff they like, it’s a jumping off point that leads straight to Jam City. “Mauler” fully embraces the concept, meandering through a sleepy Sabbath tempo until it finds a slightly quicker pace for Geraghty to lay down some soaring solo fills. The coda is a contest to see who can play the central riff the slowest without stopping. Let it breathe, man.

The remaining trio of songs — “Blood Relations,” “Coramoor,” and “Wanderer” — shed most of the psychedelic throwback vibes heard in the earlier tracks and more closely resemble the dramatic cursed doom of classic Trouble and Saint Vitus. Lower and slower with a heavy dose of bleakness, the songs should win over any purist on the fence. Still, given the chance, Let It Breathe will drive home a riff as if their lives depended on it; they’ll probably tell you that’s not far from the truth. While this might sound like a negative criticism, it certainly isn’t. If Dopesmoker taught us anything, it’s that when you find the right riff, you just gotta let it breathe, man.

Follow Let It Breathe on Facebook here.

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