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And A Few To Break 

Procession (Relatively Conscious Records)

Wednesday, Dec 13 2006
Like most records from post-punk and hardcore innovators, the debut LP from And A Few To Break feels like an urgent and necessary invention, and Procession collects messages of political, emotional, and musical revolution. This might be expected from a band that takes its name from politico-hardcore act Refused's lyrics ("I've got a bone to pick with capitalism, and a few to break"), but the San Francisco group's strengths, ably demonstrated in tunes like "KIS" and "Line of Fire," lies in its assured balance of influences. Whether it's the cowbell-hammering, gang-sing that evokes The Ex, or a guitar-backed howl that brings to mind '90s post-alls like At The-Drive In, Cave In, and the preceding batch of D.C. innovators, And a Few's passionate playing demonstrates that its members are just as skilled at listening as they are at performing. Despite moments of individual virtuosity, the most exciting moments on Procession come with the emotionally gnarled wreck of a final three songs, a sprawling trilogy of "Procession: Death Becomes You," "Procession: When It Takes Your Love," and "Procession: And Makes You Its Messenger" — the last of which begins with an insistent round about how death "makes you its messenger." But by the end of Procession's wild ride — from apocalyptic guitar terror to bucolic nylon string serenity — the intertwining themes of love, death, loss, and redemption combine into a stunning message. — Nate Cavalieri

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Nate Cavalieri

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