BREAKDOWN: Runnin’ Scared: LP

Jun 13, 2014

Breakdown were one of those bands whose influence has always been heard more than their actual music, due mostly in part to the fact that their early output consisted of two demo tapes and four tracks total on the late ‘80s comps NYHC: The Way It Is and Where the Wild Things Are. Breakdown’s talent was overshadowed by other bands in the scene that were able to put out records in the late ‘80s (Warzone, Gorilla Biscuits, Agnostic Front, etc), but that doesn’t make them a bad band. The younger generation might remember singer Jeff Perlin from his time in Slumlords, but his younger years (these recordings specifically) were spent contemplating more serious issues and making music a lot more stripped down. These songs are sourced from the band’s second demo tape, recorded in 1987, as well as a live set from WNYU in ‘89 that sounds better than expected. There are two more tracks from an unreleased session in ‘87 that are just alternate versions of other tracks and I didn’t really feel are needed, but I’m certainly not going to complain about extra stuff being thrown on top of what you’re already getting here. I’ve always had an affinity for the NYHC recordings that were a little rough around the edges (like Warzone’s Lower East Side 7”, the Life’s Blood 7”), and this record falls nicely into that category. This record works because not only is it a document of something falling into the obscure side of a certain scene for collectors and completists, but the songs are good enough in their own right to warrant getting a proper release. 

 –Ian Wise (Painkiller)