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The Skinny: Breathing Blue’s initial release is a carefully-crafted and fast-paced EP, a fitting introduction to these five young New Jersey rockers. The self-titled record weaves the intricate guitar work of Rob Bost and Matt Basilotto, with the crooning, catchy melodies of vocalist Justin (J.T.) Sanford, and the strong rock rhythms of Chris Dechert (bass) and Jason LaRaia (drums). The result is a collection of songs that will stay with you long after your iPod is off.

Accessible on first listen, Breathing Blue’s six-song album proves to be catchy from start to finish. “A Star In The West” is an energetic opener that defines a memorable rock debut, and “Chase The World” provides an anthemic rock chorus that will have crowds singing it back. The EP closes with “Sparkle,” which highlights Sanford’s upbeat lyrics and the band’s mantra: Nothing should bring you down. With a youthful exuberance that permeates through their live show and the positive message of their lyrics, Breathing Blue is anything but neophytes. Their debut EP has no auto-tune, no triggered instruments, and no timed loops. The band also wasn’t afraid of introducing eastern scales, bending keys, or changing time signatures to intrigue well-trained ears.

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