In a lot of ways, hardcore has become as entrenched a style as disco—form over substance, quality, or innovation—and the response from its staunchest proponents is often to hurl abuse and contempt at any band that has the temerity to fuck with the formula. Some of the swellest stuff to come out of that scene, however—Black Flag, Die Kreuzen, Big Black, Criminal Code, Butthole Surfers, Bill Bondsmen, Fugazi, and so on—liberally pissed in the gene pool with often stunning results. That said, there’s some nice thinking outside the box going on here. Although firmly within the hardcore camp, Breakout amalgamates the mid-tempo, primal yet oddly accessible qualities of Europe’s punk/hardcore tradition with Midwestern U.S. sensibilities and a gruff howl reminiscent of Out Cold’s Mark Sheehan into five potent, succinct blasts. Derivative? Sure, but the way they mix things up, and the way they own the sound makes ‘em stand out from the pack.
–jimmy (Grave Mistake)