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Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Music, News | 5 comments

Powepop Review: The Breakdowns’ Rock n Roller Skates

Powepop Review: The Breakdowns’ Rock n Roller Skates

Their debut LP reminded me a bit of a ragged Plimsouls. They followed that up with The Kids Don’t Wanna Bop Anymore, a nod to The Ramones and a pretty good record albeit a little spotty. With their latest effort entitled Rock n Roller Skates, the band continues to write melodies and hooks that stick, but this time with a step up in production values. The difference is alarming.

roller-skates-cover“UK Youth” starts the disc off with handclaps and Ramones guitar riffs that powerpop fans will go ga-ga for. “Rock City Limit” is a bit of a departure and has a little bit of a Springsteen flavor to it. “Off The Record” is a another hooky powerpop gem.

Fans of “Rock n Roll High School” will get a kick out of “Sweet Pamela Jayne”, a song the band wrote about PJ Soles. You may remember her as Riff Randell in the Ramones movie classic or as Bill Murray’s co-star in Stripes.

The Ramones references don’t stop there. The guitar break in “Stick ’em Up Buddy” was lifted from “The KKK Took My Baby Away”. With most of the 11 songs clocking in at 3 minutes or less, there’s a great deal to like about this disc.  After all,  who doesn’t love 11 quick hits of hook-filled, melodic goodness?

These guys just keep getting better. Hopefully, folks will start to take notice.




  1. Was just doing a search for this album to see if anyone had reviewed it. Nice review but your score makes it sound average. Have listened to it on Bandcamp and it sounds quite ‘modern’ sounding. Bit of a mixed bag of songs- I like ’em all but sometimes a bit disjointed as an album. Their last album, ‘Kids’ was something else- real Rocket to Russia style pop punk. Loved it and saw the band around that time and they were so loud and fast live, really entertaining.
    I’ve been following them on Facebook and I think they have jacked it all in, I guess they just ain’t had the success they deserve and it kinda makes me sad that so many good bands wind up banging their heads against a brick wall. Such a shame, I think these guys have written some quite amazing songs that should have been hit singles.


    • Chok-

      I’m in total agreement with you. However, please don’t mistake 3 stars with “average”. The reason I rated it at 3 stars is precisely the reason you gave – it can seem disjointed at times. At other times, its a splendid recording. Better than most that manage to garner airplay these days. I’m also a very tough grader. Typically, only one recording a year gets a 5 star rating.

      Truth is, I have my reservations about the star system anyway. Your point is very well taken. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a very insightful comment!

  2. Hey
    Thanks for the review.
    We think ‘Skates’ is a cool record and are pleased with some of the feedback. It probably feels disjointed because it’s a collection of songs we’ve been sitting on for years that got rediscovered, so there’s some songs that are really old, and some that are very new.
    The second poster may be right- things have become very frustrating for us as we haven’t been selling any records and really think we’ve not been getting any breaks. This isn’t the end for us we hope, but making records is an expensive business and we feel kind sad that we seem too be banging our heads against a brick wall. Maybe we ain’t good enough? I’m not sure, but I hope not!

    Anyway, thanks again

    Joe (The Breakdowns)

    • Thanks so much for the clarification. I’ve been a fan of yours for quite some time. Having listened to all three of your full lengths at the time of their release, it is evident to me that you guys clearly ARE good enough. Unfortunately, it really all comes down to selling enough records to make it viable.

      The idea that the internet has made it possible to garner a decent following without industry backing is a farce. Accessibility simply means more white noise to try to cut through, making it the same game it always has been – he who has the most muscle behind him (aka industry cash) gets the greatest visibility. The only difference is, instead of record companies and organized crime getting the biggest cut its the advertising arms of the various online entities profiting most.

      Still, one never knows when that big break is coming. Here’s hoping yours is right around the corner.

  3. Hello again!

    Thanks for your comments. The industry has changed so much even in the short space of time we have been around. When we put ‘Kids’ out it seemed like it was easy to get gigs/press/recognition. Less than 3 years later, it just isn’t happening for us. Nobody wants to know. We’ve had loads of requests from people we’d considered friends and allies of the band who wanted a free copy of the album in exchange for a review or a bit or promotion, but none of these people have come through for us this time around. How disappointing!
    Anyway, cheers for your support here, glad you like the record at 3 out of 5! Kinda saddened by that rating, but we understand. We are never going to have a hit at this rate anyway, and we can’t even buy a gig!

    Oh to be born in a different age eh?

    Keep spreading the word where you can!

    Joe (The Breakdowns)