Breaklights New Album Wind Down Showcases Band’s Range And Energy
4.5 out of 5 stars
Breaklights is a pop-punk band from Austin, Texas (not to be confused with The Breaklights which are not the same band), and they have a sound reminiscent of Alkaline Trio in some ways, but with an influence by fellow Texas band, Bowling For Soup.
They don’t tend to get as dark in subject matter as Alkaline Trio or as lighthearted as Bowling For Soup though.
Their new album Wind Down came out on June 3rd, and it’s a good representation of the band’s sound overall. It has a lot of uptempo, singalong songs that are great to play in pretty much any occasion.
There is always one go-to method that I like to test a band’s “staying power” and that is to go on a long road trip with the album cranked really loud. I did NOT get the chance to do the long road trip part, but I did actually play it in my car at high volume.
I can absolutely see how this album would be a great road trip album though.
The melodies, beats, and riffs are driving forward at a pace that would keep you wrapped up and focused (on the road, of course) all the while enjoying great tunes.
The first song on the album is “Dream On” is a song about self pity (likely in relationships) that has a pretty cool guitar riff and a rocking singalong chorus. The song sets the scene (as a first song should) for the overall style and theme of the album as a whole. At 3:23 long, it is in the middle range of length (songs between 1:37 and 4:11).
“When You Talk” was one of the lead singles off the album before it was released, so there’s a chance that if you heard it on its own, you would like this song more than some of the other songs that sound a bit like it. It’s not that the songs sound the same, it’s just there may be a pretty regular formula to most of the songs.
The video is actually quite hilarious as well due to the fact that the band is dressed up as monsters and play in costume throughout the video.
The next song on the album “Fool Me Once” is a great song to pick things up and bring some energy to the album too. It’s a song that definitely reminds me of the early 2000’s heyday of bands playing pop-punk.
One of the stand out songs on the album is the song “Aging Well” which is a much less slower, acoustic song that reminds me a lot of the concept of the song Adam Sandler sings to Drew Barrymore’s character on the plane at the ending of The Wedding Singer (that song being “I Wanna Grow Old With You”).
It’s not a forward-going chronological song though. It seems to go from the past to present as opposed to present to future. Short and sweet too. For those who listen on vinyl will like this as the final song on side A as well.
The album picks right back up with “Crushed” and gets your rocking right off on side B. This is one of my favorite songs on the album as it is pretty sentimental overall. Reminds me of my high school and college days.
“Smile Lines” is one of the more rocking songs on the album, for me. It starts with a bang and goes into a really cool drum tom banging verse before blaring back into a raucous chorus. It is one of the songs that has a lead guitar solo in it as well.
Overall, if I said you want to listen to just one song on this album, it might be this one. It’s a great example of the album and the band at their best.
“Illinois” slows things back down with an intimate, acoustic song about travel and distance in a relationship.
“Sixty-Five” is another high-energy song. This one is tongue-and-cheek as it is talking about what I can only assume is a retired couple or at least someone who is actually 65 - my guess is imagining themself as an old person and thinking about how they will look at the world and how they will act.
The contradiction of being old and finally being able to relax, but then also knowing that there isn’t much time left in life mixed with the uptempo music is a pretty cool juxtaposition.
The album ends with “Fairview 1991” which feels like a pop-punk trip down memory lane, both in subject matter and in the way the song rolls along at a bit of a slower pace and injects some poppy chorus lines in there. It’s kinda one of those songs that makes you nostalgic.
Overall, the album is quite good, and these guys have a big year ahead of them with all of the touring in support of the album. Go check this album out.