Lots can be said about punk act The Brokedowns by this music lover.
First, The Brokedowns released an amazing album years ago that I still listen to often, so chances are, this review may show light favoritism. Secondly, they rule…tons. Lastly, they have not released an album in at least 4 years, so this is something worth getting excited about.
I learned of The Brokedowns back in 2009 when I was flipping through 45s at Blue Arrow Records. I picked up a split 7″ with them and Turkish Techno on it and totally made a blind buy having no idea what to expect. I remember spinning the crap out of that 45. I loved what both bands had to offer.
The Brokedowns hail from Elgin, Illinois and have been creating their own melodic punk rock since at least 2002. They have definitely matured over the years and have mastered their sound throughout their time but without losing their unique charm.
“Joliet, The Maui Of The Midwest” started the album off with a gracious and humorous nod to their hometown area. This song was a straight up jam with a heavy dose of gang vocal opportunities at the end.
Title track “Life Is A Breeze” was a drum hitting, screaming, killer song that was ever so poppy and melodic yet kept that punk edge to it. I loved how this song was just about dealing with the surroundings and admitting things are not that bad.
“Murder Junkie/CPA” was a pop punk jam that to me sounded like a mix of Low Culture and Iron Chic. There was a garage rock sound with the punk vibe that just made this track stand out over the others.
“Everything Is Immoral” was brutal. I loved everything about this track, especially the group harmony just past the halfway mark. It fit so perfectly. I just wish I knew what that intro clip was from. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Without trying to talk about every track on this album, I have to mention how much I loved “Born On The Bayou Too”. The track alone was one of the best on the album. I loved the quick breakdowns and just 90s reminiscant guitar playing.
“Cash For Gold” was a quick fun track, but the video for it was beyond freaking hilarious. The music video titled GG and Merle Get Jobs was more of a short film with “Cash For Gold” playing throughout. A true ode to not only crust brothers GG and Merle Allen, but also to Looney Tunes. The black and white was a nice touch, especially with assisting removing the brown. Scroll down to see what I am talking about. The song was bad ass thanks to the typical Brokedowns flavor throughout I have grown to dig.
For a second there I thought “God Hates Math” was a lost Ween track as it extended from the prior track “I Respect Your Right To Always Be Wrong About Everything” but soon just ignited.
I hope “Keep Branson Weird” was about Sir Branson. I met that dude once in Baltimore. True story. He was nice, but so weird.
Closing the album down was “A Child’s Guide To Black Metal”, a song that may have been toned down a bit versus the others starting ups, but still just awesome, especially once things picked up.
The end of this track left me wanting a copy of the vinyl as backwards lines repeated over seagulls and I am just dying to play the record backwards just to make out what is being said. A true cliffhanger if you ask me.
This is one memorable album by an amazing group of dudes throughout. I really hope more people than me are so over-excited about what I just heard. It rules and is not to be missed.
Head on over to Red Scare Industries and pick up a copy or two.
As promised, here is the video I made mention of earlier. It’s not exactly a safe for work video. To make it tamer, let’s just say them boys have really oily hands… Don’t say I did not warn you. Enjoy!