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The first thing you should know about René Breton is that it’s a band and not an individual. René Breton is the Nashville duo of Ryan Hurtgen and Tobin Sio, and their name is a nod to French poet and author of the Surrealist Manifesto, André Breton. Indeed, the band claims their new record, Asleep in Green, is “a modern, surrealist journey, which represents the subconscious mind during sleep.” I, for one, welcome such highfalutin ambition in the musical artform, especially when the creative product can be so thoroughly enjoyed even when denuded of its lofty aspirations.
So let’s shoot straight on this one: I’m not qualified to analyze “Fifth Ace of Anchors” on the merits of its context within the surrealistic canon… but I can tell you it’s one hell of a song. As with a burgeoning fire, René Breton have crafted a smoldering heap of a track that grows imperceptibly hotter with each passing note. By the time the listener realizes how strong the flames have become, it’s too late–the immolation complete. Here the fiery licks comes from the tongues of a pirouetting string section, perfectly punctuated vocal harmonies, and a guitar which suddenly appears with a vigorous riff.
(Okay, maybe there is something to the band’s claims of somnial magic. With its dreamlike progression, I suppose “Fifth Ace of Anchors” does have some potently surrealistic traits.)
It is an excellent way to kick off Asleep in Green, or any album, for that matter. While it may be a grower rather than an instant heart-stealer, it’s worth forging the bond. Before you know it, you’ll be in love with “Fifth Ace of Anchors.”