Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio, we’ve been listening to The Breakdown’s first single of 2023: When It Comes To Things Like Love.

Regular readers will recall we’ve reviewed several singles from London (UK) band, The Breakdown, throughout 2022, so we’re excited to hear them hitting the ground running in 2023.

We don’t normally cut and paste from a band’s biography, but we have no way of putting the theme of the song into any other words than The Breakdown’s own description… we’ll leave it here for you to ponder;

“When it Comes to Things Like Love explores well-trodden themes of lost love, but from the
perspective of a solitary Elvis impersonator who explores fantastic far-flung worlds of xenomorphic aliens and department store mannequins. While our protagonist battles with his inner demons, the music lends itself to the more imminent threat of confronting the intergalactic space-elephants that wish to tear him apart.” OK.. .got that? Moving on…

When It Comes To Things Like Love has a filtered start which then powers in with bass and drums, giving more impact. There is some great stereo in the track and the whole song takes on a kind of 80s pop feel. As with previous releases, it would be fair to liken the band to Depeche Mode or Duran Duran, but perhaps with rather different lyrical themes.

There is some super-impressive drumming in this track, provided by Toby Young and we also love the repeated guitar line which comes between sections and helps differentiate to the listener where they are in the song. There is also a superb breakdown bass section, once again showing that all members of this band are classy musicians” Mike Connell (vocals), Richard Gale (guitar), Andy Strevens (guitar), Michael McGuiness (bass), Toby Young (drums).

Vocally having some hints of Simon Le Bon, we also particularly liked the use of octave layered vocals in this track which fill out the sound perfectly.

The chorus is super-catchy and whilst we don’t entirely understand what the song is about, we like the slightly tongue-in-cheek lyric “when it comes to things like love, I’d rather gouge my eyes out.” This truly is a band with a unique, but still accessible style.

Ideas from our ears

To our ears, this track could benefit from a little EQ balancing. A boost centred around 400Hz would fill a gap in the low mids and thicken up the overall sound a bit. A cut around 700Hz would bring down some ‘honky’ tones. A dip around 2.5kHz for the occasional slightly ‘harsh’ tone. A cut around 8.5kHz would make the track sound a little less ‘brittle’. Finally, a light compressor/limiter with around 4dB of make-up gain would bring the volume of the track back up to match similar releases. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.

Final thoughts

Fans of 80s pop will love this Depeche Mode/ Duran Duran track from The Breakdown. A prolific band who are clearly on a mission to build a solid fanbase.

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