The Breakdown – High Life

UK based band, The Breakdown, are back with another new single, released on August 12 2022. High Life is a powerful and punky track that grabs your attention right from the get go. We here at the Send Me Your Ears studio are thrilled to be reviewing this talented London based act again. This is the third time we’ve reviewed The Breakdown and we can really see this young band taking the bull by the horns more and more with each new release.

High Life takes its inspiration from a period when the singer had no choice but to move back ’home’ for a period of time into his former East End tower block. The character led song details memories, references and occurrences from living there, particularly his mothers expectation that he knew who any of these people living on the estate actually were. We love a good story song and we’ve been previously impressed with this relatively new young band so we were excited to hear how they’ve progressed.

High Life comes straight in with a really bright and clear drum fill. The drumming really is quite superb on this track. Some lovely hi-hat work and some really creative fills. At this breakneck speed, that’s no mean feat!

As is the way for The Breakdown, we love that the lead singer’s clear accent comes through. Ian Dury springs to mind. The melody of the vocals is not the important focus here, it’s the lyrics. Lead singer, Mike Connell, delivers the lyrics clearly, consistently and with plenty of attitude.

The track has some lovely panning and stereo effects in it. A gorgeous guitar solo with a perfect tone for the track fills the middle of the song and the bass powers along consistently, reliably and just slightly driven. There’s even a spoken word section, as well as a chorus that is just super-catchy and just begging to be joined in with.

We particularly like the huge build towards the end of the song that sweeps the listener along, all the time rising and rising until a gentle fade out to end. This is a superb example of slightly punky Britpop/ Indie Rock.

From a production perspective, a boost around 80Hz would give a little more thump to the kick drum. The song has plenty of brightness and presence throughout; perhaps a little too much in places. A small cut centred around 8kHz would ‘calm’ some of the places where it feels like there is a little too much character in that area. The track could also use a little more volume overall in our opinion so a light compressor and some make up gain (3dB?) would work great.

We’re growing to love the fresh, uniquely British, confident sound of The Breakdown. Well worth adding to your playlist if you’re a fan of The Smiths, XTC or other similar artists. Great stuff!

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