For three years, the collective members of Young Widows existed as the sound and force behind Louisville’s Breather Resist. Breather Resist was a powerful and vicious outfit, combining winding guitars with hoarse vocals that landed their live experience somewhere between a more visceral Deadguy and Jesus Lizard. Breather Resist enjoyed quite a bit of repute throughout their existence, releasing one full-length album and an 8-song EP, along with a handful of singles, while touring with luminary bands such as Converge, Burnt By The Sun, Pelican and These Arms Are Snakes.
But in December of 2005, Breather Resist quit breathing and ceased resisting when the band parted ways with vocalist Steve Sindoni. However, the remaining three members (Evan Patterson- guitarist, Nick Thieneman- bass, Geoff Paton- drums) continued practicing and writing new material through the Winter, with Evan and Nick writing lyrics and sharing vocal duties. In April of 2006, the band entered the studio with Louisville pal Chris Owens (Lords) engineering, and recorded 11 new songs. But the trio’s resulting songs was definitely not what anyone, be it fans or the band themselves, was expecting. This was something completely different. And it was definitely not Breather Resist by any stretch of the imagination. Enter Young Widows.
According to Patterson, “We decided it would be unfair to keep the name Breather Resist due to the fact that Steve [Sindoni] is no longer in the band and what we have written now is not Breather Resist. It’s something else. So we have left the name behind…. [The music] is definitely an extention of Breather, but we were headed this way regardless of member changes and name changes,” he adds.
Sonically, there are nods to the trio’s noisecore-inspired past, but Young Widows navigates a more direct route between early Touch and Go fury and Slowdime-era D.C. dissonance than before. “We were surprised at how different the new sound was actually,” says Patterson. Where once there was discord, there is now balance. And this is unswervingly evidenced on ‘Settle Down City,’ Young Widows’ introductory release for Jade Tree.
‘Settle Down City’ sidesteps pre-conceived suspicions while maintaining the scathing tone of shadow’s past. Young Widows does take time to employ the unsparingly heavy clamor of their former musical identity, but the resulting 11-songs that of ‘Settle Down City’ are more akin to Hoover or The Jesus Lizard than any previous exploits of the band. The sound and subject of Young Widows is more vexing; the overall tone, more dissonant. Taking cues from the repetitive rhythms of Shellac and the more urgent moments of early Unsane or Hammerhead, ‘Settle Down City’ combines liberal amounts of mercurial anger with bare introspection to create a bitter new take on tension, release and resolution.
For all intents and purposes, Young Widows is technically 75% of Breather Resist, but the similarities between the two bands terminates there. Breather Resist is now the past; Young Widows, the present. The future, well, that’ll come soon enough…