CD Review: the Break – “Handbook for the Hopeless”

It’s been a good long while since I’ve heard a band that I can’t categorically qualify. The Break definately hits that description, and I have to say, I find it refreshing. It’s rare that a musical act doesn’t fit neatly into a genre.

The Break, at least on Handbook for the Hopeless, can best be summed up as follows: the Bronx meets CKY in a dark alley and has a fistfight over a bunch of AFI and Cheap Trick records. They’ve got that propulsive rock and roll sound that Ferret labelmates the Bronx possess, but they occasionally hit the stoner-rock via effects processor sound that CKY does so well (especially on “’67 Avenged?”).

The thing is, however, they still manage to hit some poppy moments that sound like nothing but Cheap Trick intros. “Last Night In Manhattan” sounds like Rick Nielsen and Bun E. Carlos were called in to write the intro, then the song was handed back to the band, then passed off to Davey Havok for vocal rewrites.

It sounds like a total mishmash fuckup, but it’s goddamn good. It’s certainly something that grows on you, listen after listen. The more it finds its way into my stereo, the more I want to keep listening. I thought this would be a one-go disc, then off to the used record store, but I’ve gone back to Handbook for the Hopeless more times than I can count.

Ferret Records
the Break

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