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By James Cerche
20th December 2014

NEEDTOBREATHE are keen to get back to basics with their fifth LP, and first major Australian release, ‘Rivers In The Wasteland’. Mining the kind of southern rock served up on Kings Of Leon records alongside the alt-folk stomp of bands like The Lumineers, NEEDTOBREATHE are out to have fun rejuvenate their image following a tumultuous two year touring cycle. They’ve emerged with a strong set of 11 tracks ahead of their first Australian tour after 16 years as a band.

‘Wasteland’ is understated yet anthemic opener. “I’m the first one in line to die when the cavalry comes / yeah it feels like the great divide is already gone,” announces frontman Bear Rinehart before asking, “if God is on my side, who can be against me?” ‘Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now’ is riff driven cracker that built on a heavy southern blues groove before ‘Oh, Carolina’ and ‘Difference Maker’ employ quieter, contemplative compositions. Light piano work and tasteful backup vocals help make a lot of the tracks on this record pop. Lead single ‘The Heart’ is a quick to get around, with a nice big sing-along in the chorus and middle sections and suggests itself as a decent addition to the Triple M playlist. ‘More Heart, Less Attack’ closes things nicely with its positive lyrical sentiment and engrossing coda.


The record vaults between acoustic folk numbers, stadium-sized ballads and balls-out rockers, all undertaken with a touch of simplicity and the knack to get to the heart of the songs without layering on excessive instrumentation and gimmicky. There’s still a neat studio sheen over the whole affair but it doesn't detract or distract from the band’s mission to just “be ourselves”. This record has every chance of finding a large and hearty following if given the right exposure.

‘Rivers In The Wasteland’ is out now and you can catch NEEDTOBREATHE on their 8 date Australian tour throughout February. Follow NEEDTOBREATHE's Huddle at the top of this page (you'll have to sign in or join up first) for the latest tour details, news and reviews from the artist.

BAND: Needtobreathe
MEMBERS: Bear Rinehart
Bo Rinehart
Seth Bolt
FORMED: 1998
FROM: South Carolina
SOUND: Southern Rock / Folk
TWITTER: @needtobreathe
INSTAGRAM: @needtobreathe
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