The Breakups | Eat Your Heart Out EP (Bait Shop Pop)

breakups.jpgThe choruses lack hooks, the guitars stay far too restrained, and vocal harmonies are few and far between.

 

 

 

 

Hollywoodland, California quintet the Breakups sell themselves as "powerless pop." I assume they meant it as a snarky sort of self-compliment, but it gets right to the heart of what their debut is missing, namely the "power" part of the power pop equation.

Eat Your Heart Out gets off on a decent enough foot with a cheeky fake phone call (Girl: "I love you." Boy: "What, I can’t hear you. We’re breaking up.") that hints at a sense of humor. From there, the band does a fairly decent job of echoing the Get Up Kids with upbeat guitars and Jake Gideon’s slightly raspy vocal styles on "Day in the Sun" and "Feed," experiments with a darker side on the acoustic "Tissue Sample," and scores a sweet note with the New Amsterdams-esque acoustic closer "Winding Down." The instrumentation is skillful, the songwriting is solid, but it always feels like there’s something missing. The choruses lack hooks, the guitars stay far too restrained, and vocal harmonies are few and far between. The songs lack power and, as such, make little impression despite certainly being pleasant enough.

The lone exception here is "After the Fact," whose adventurous song structure allows the band to snake through bouncy keyboards, bopping bass, a hooky chorus, and a highly danceable bridge to make a song that’s worthy of multiple listens. It’s a fine song, but one really good song and 5 only decent ones unfortunately don’t add up to a "must-have." C+ | Jason Green

 

RIYL: The Get Up Kids, Fountains of Wayne

 

On the Web:

Official Site: http://www.thebreakupssuck.com/

MySpace: www.myspace.com/thebreakupssuck

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