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We review the new single ALARM! – From The Breakdown

Returning to RGM with their second single, The Breakdown release their follow up single to ‘The Girl With The Mondonian Dress’, with a punkier endeavour, ‘ALARM!’.

Like the showy title suggests ‘ALARM!’ travels on the more vigorous side of the tracks, pushing the driven energy of punky American surf-rock. Upon my initial listen, it immediately took me back to being filled with teen-angst listening to Wavves in my bedroom.

The track kicks off with a fuzzy bass metrically reciting the root notes of the track, to be quickly joined with by a sparky lead guitar alongside a fairly standard drumbeat. The overall finish on the guitar is obviously going for the same fuzzy vibe as the bass, but feels far too tinny in this instance. Sometimes, attempting the faux grit of a DIY style can hinder the general atmosphere of the track more than it benefits, leaving the sound a little more piercing than gritty.

The mix on the vocals too strikes me as unique, opting for a clean finish as opposed to something more daring. The vocalist is quite softly-sung which, without the intervention of post effects, feels particularly disjointed, almost as if their vocals are fighting a losing battle alongside the remaining instrumentation. With the verses following the same melodies, the vocals ware thin pretty soon and lose that much needed engagement as the front-performer.  

Instrumentally, ‘ALARM!’ is a decent enough nod to surf-punk but struggles as a standalone single. The round the song off, the vocals really needed more power in both their performance and the mix, as the finished product just feels incomplete. However, this is only the second single we have seen from The Breakdown, so there are bound to be bumps in the road. Fingers crossed that third-time luck will be on their side in their next single.