Stretching FM – What if I Stopped Breathing

Stretching FM
What if I Stopped Breathing

This is my last review for Delusion of Adequacy, and most likely the last music review I’ll ever write. See, I just don’t seem to have the heart for it anymore. Typically, I receive records in the mail, listen to them a bunch, and them type out my opinions … nothing could be easier, right? That said, I find commenting on most these CDs damn near impossible. First, even if I hate a record, I honestly don’t want to be too harsh with someone’s art. I play music myself, and no matter how confident you are, it hurts if people tell you that your work is awful. And besides, what’s the point of saying bad things about a band most of you have probably never heard of? It doesn’t really do you any good. Because of this, I end up trying to highlight the positives, however few there may be, and de-emphasize the bad. This probably is not responsible journalism. Second, so many of these albums blend together to the point where it becomes almost hopeless to try and say anything meaningful about them. Thus, the review doesn’t really help because it says things like “the beat relentless, the bass groovy, and the guitars crunchy” (as taken from below). But really, there is just nothing else to be said about music that doesn’t stand out but isn’t inherently terrible.
Thus, it makes perfect sense that What if I Stopped Breathing by Florida emo-pop outfit Stretching FM marks then end of my tenure in the profession. See, there is absolutely nothing wrong with what this band is doing. Obviously fans of emotional pop, they write songs that attempt to address issues of loss, love, and youth. The band is tight, the vocals mostly decent, and songwriting reasonably talented. But in all honesty, I find it hard to really care about what they are doing. Maybe I’m a jaded and elitist music dork clutching his Explosion in the Sky records too close, or maybe I’m not in touch with my feelings, but I simply don’t have any attachment to this record.
The songs themselves are basically inoffensive. In all fairness, opener “A Million Miles From You” actually rocks pretty hard. There’s nothing complicated here, but they do it damn well. The guitar solo is kind of cheesy, but it works fine given what the band is going for. Put it this way: this is rock that both you and parents can enjoy. The vocals are spot on, the beat relentless, the bass groovy, and the guitars crunchy. But lyrics like “Now I feel I’ve grown up enough for you” have no impact on my mind at all. For some reason, I don’t seem to care.
From here, the songs all follow the same format: slow intro (perhaps with a little piano to make it all sounds extra important), aching vocals, and a mid-tempo rockout. A few lyric samples: “I long to hold you but we’re bound by each other’s ties,” “Remembrance falls back your head, where I once belonged,” “Review the (our) noises heard last night and please say that there was one you liked.” I think you get the idea.
Anyway, I don’t want this to come off too negatively. Again, nothing about this band is bad per say, I just don’t seem to “get it.” But in all fairness, that doesn’t mean you won’t. So go to Stretching FM’s webpage and listen for yourself … it’s the best way to decide these things anyway.