Hearing Aide: The Breakfast ‘Phantasmagoria’

It’s been twenty years since the jam band The Breakfast formed. Originally known as Psychedelic Breakfast and based out of Connecticut, the band is releasing their 20th anniversary album, Phantasmagoria, featuring freshly revamped tracks filled to the brim with exploratory attitude. Consisting of members Tim Palmieri on guitar, Chris DeAngelis on bass, Jordan Giangreco on keys and Adrian Tramontano on drums, the long-awaited new album is nothing but explosive energy right out of the gate.

With eager anticipation, “Metropolis” kicks off with light tones that increase in energy as the tune progresses. DeAngelis and Palmieri take turns strutting their guitar magic midway through, while Tramontano keeps the tune rolling with tireless drumming. The calmest track rears its head second song in as “Shotgun Butterfly” slinks by with sharp lyrics and edgy bass before “Rush” wastes no time jumping in with a brisk tempo and harmonized lyrics. The track takes a surprising twist as the tune creeps into a psychedelic melody crammed with Giangreco’s kaleidoscopic keys. Close your eyes and disappear into a dreamlike state as this tune takes hold of your earholes.

An upbeat “Reel Time” is a clean tune immersed in sleek vocals, dynamic keyboard tones and crisp guitar. Sliding in and out of time changes makes for a dramatic song full of surprises around every note. Meanwhile, “Rust” electrifies the senses as Palmieri’s masterful guitar delivers by continuously elevating the track just when the listener thinks his solo will come to an end. Intense is a mild word to describe the energy built up during this tune.

“Episode III (Awakening)” does just that – awakens and stimulates the brain as the track flows in and out of varying musical styles. A rocking, heavier backbone glues the track together while hinting at a touch of jazz, as well as a more classical style, before swinging back into the heavier melody. A bluesy beat also makes an appearance before, once again, sliding right back into a harder tone.

Wrapping up the album is an expansive 23-minute “Hard Luck Harry.” This final track has the air of accomplishment and triumph streaming throughout a diverse range of tones. Darker notes emit their shadowy depths midway, tiptoeing along the rim of multi-colored tones that dive deep into an exploratory rhythm that stays parked for a good long while. This is one track to listen to in the dark, with headphones on and eyes closed, in order to truly experience the energy created throughout. A sense of being thrown into deep space takes hold while plummeting through the musical rabbit hole of this melody.

Phantasmagoria is a welcome reprieve from the usual jam band numbers. Tracks throughout are a breath of fresh air. Unexpected tones, experimental melodies and time change treats make this album an innovative blend of musical delights that awaken all the senses. To fully experience this album in all of it’s musical glory, make sure to listen with headphones to capture the true depth of the masterfully produced numbers. If you’re seeking a fresh sound, this album delivers, hands down. The Breakfast is back and better than ever.

Key Tracks: Reel Time, Rust, Hard Luck Harry