Break Ups - It's Complicated [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Break Ups

It's Complicated [EP] (2013)

Cats? Aye! Records

Break Ups are stirring up a whole storm of love if comments on social media sites are anything to go by, and being a cynical old git, this made me a bit wary before I listened to this six track release. Surely, no band deserves such an immediate outpouring of positive comments? Hell, I remember Sharks, a band that seemed to garner a mass of support but were/are actually shit.

Anyway, I opened my mind, pressed play and well, it didn't take long for me to realise that all those people who had been mentioning the band in such a positive way were actually spot-on. At a time when the UK scene is becoming significantly stronger and more than a match for that in the USA with bands like Woahnow, Epic Problem, Muncie Girls and Stay Clean Jolene, to get yet another group which has the chops to stand toe to toe with some of the illustrious overseas bands is extremely pleasing.

This trio manage to create quite a big, anthemic sound that actually takes its cues from both sides of the Atlantic, with my overriding thought being that Break Ups sound like a cross between Jimmy Eat World, Stay Clean Jolene and Peachfuzz; there is no doubt that catchiness and melody are big parts of what this band wants to do, but there is still enough abrasiveness to stop it from being a sugary sweet mess. Additionally, the lyrical content seems to paint a picture of failed and/or doomed relationships, life with little hope and a basic downtrodden feel, however, the uplifting music manages to stop them from coming across as being maudlin and full of self pity.

Throughout all these songs, there is a sense of not wanting to rush with all song but one being in excess of three minutes and the one that's not, is only seconds short; this allows the songs to build into a more powerful, rousing sound rather than rushing through from start to finish with little to hook the listener. Kicking off with "Breaking Up," it's a simple concoction of guitar, bass and drums that is thickened up to ensure that what you hear through your speakers is quite a solid end result. The guitar is crisp, the bass doesn't bounce too much but does provide nice lines at times whilst the drums snap away – these guys know how to handle their instruments.

"You're Laughing" is the song that sticks in my head the most and is where I find the most comparisons to Jimmy Eat World, although you wouldn't necessarily hear them immediately first time through.

The EP closes with "Colour Me Depressed" which opens with the lines "It's Colonel Mustard in the study with a spanner / That's enough about my Friday night in" which clearly indicates someone with a less than satisfying life. This song takes on more of an American tone certainly with some of the vocal styling and elements of the song structure; an extremely strong ending.

This is one huge debut release and Break Ups is a bad to keep an ear out for and Bandcamp provides for an easy way to do so.