After the release of 2010′s Sleep Mountain, the Kissaway Trail lost two of its founding members. For the noise-spackled (but pop-minded) Denmark band, this move ended up being a case of addition by subtraction: Breach, the group’s third record and first recorded as a trio, is a far more focused effort. The album’s hazy indie rock draws from diverse influences, including Britpop (the shimmering “Nørrebro”), psych-pop (the Flaming Lips dead ringer “Cuts Of Youth (Razor Love)”) and ’80s alt-pop (“Sarah Jevo”).
The ’80s pop vibe is especially magnified by a gentle New Order synth buzz, which hums prominently underneath multiple songs: the mournful, drum-heavy instrumental “Sara (R.I.Punk),” clanking electropop plea “Beauty Still Rebels” and the Low Life-esque album-closer “A Rainy Night In Soho.” Thomas Fagerlund and Søren Corneliussen are forceful vocalists, and a few grungier detours — including the Cloud Nothings-reminiscent “So Sorry, I’m Not” and the lush, hooky highlight “The Springsteen Implosion” — add bite and aggression. Stylistically, the Kissaway Trail aren’t reinventing the wheel, but their songwriting is taut and dynamic; as a result, Breach sounds effortless and irresistible.