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Tarnish and Undress
RU Records

While making Breech's latest album, lead singer and songwriter Missy Gibson endured months of pregnancy and morning sickness without missing a recording session. The result of her efforts (besides a child, of course) is the excellent Tarnish and Undress, a tight album that showcases Gibson's vocal talents, which can be compared with the likes of PJ Harvey, Margo Timmins (of Cowboy Junkies) and another Gibson - Beth, from Portishead. You may have heard Breech on tour with Weezer, White Stripes or Liz Phair, or on television on the WB's "Dawson's Creek," but if you haven't, you could do worse than to start with this, their fifth album.

Album-opener "Grounded" combines a steady, marching beat with teasing, tantalizing vocals ("I'm a bad girl, I'm a sinner") that soar and swoop, carrying the listener along for the ride atop smooth, nonintrusive instrumentation which, while melodic, rightfully lets Gibson take the stage front and center. She shrieks ("Keeper of the Key") and she croons ("Safe Here") but she always commands your attention. There are also plenty of moments when the music rears its head, and the result is often a delightful collision of sound, edgy and intense, as with "Unrequited" and "Texas." Also not to be missed are the album's two waltzes, "Schubert Waltz" and "Sweet One (Stalker Waltz), dark little ditties that let Gibson's voice dance around the room.

Favorite Track: "Keeper of the Key"

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Michael Fiegel is a freelance writer and graphic designer. His diverse background includes journalism, radio copywriting, technical writing, game design and music reviewing. He is best known as the creator of the Internet cult sensation, Ninja Burger. He can be reached at or at his website,

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