Breakneck - 1999 demo

Demos like this can often teach you that you have to give some stuff a few listens. Cos, as the first few chords hit in, there was that temptation to go “new metal” and that’s them labelled then. And in part it would be right. But, you have to listen to the songs, and see if they’re any good. And in the instance of Breakneck, I think they are. There’s a good with everything coming through cleanly but heavily. And the songs are good.

On offer are 3 tracks. Opener Flight is initially the one that grips you first, but ultimately is my least favourite here because it’s the one that shouts “new metal” at me the most with the stop-start of the riff and the vocal roar. It soon settles down in the verse before building again for the chorus. Ultimately better, after a few listens are the two remaining tracks Face Value and Surfaced. Face Value features an almost spoken word style to part of the vocal and the cry of you must be blind not to see what you’re doing to me is an effective chorus. Oooh, and there was a nice little time change that went in there then. Sorry, I like time changes in music. It’s the old fashioned metal bit of me shining through. And I guess it stands out because so many of the new metal band (God I hate that term. From next issue, I’m going to try not to use it again.) don’t seem capable of utilising it. Or don’t want to. But one constant speed, as so many bands use these days is boring. Whether it’s a downbeat speed or ultraspeed drummer set on kill. Variation, it’s a good thing. Sorry, getting away from the point again.

My personal favourite is Surfaced, which although you can still attribute influences to (what band can’t you do that with?), sees the band establishing their own identity more. It also sounds the most confident of the tracks from the performance and the vocals, and as such I think is a good pointer towards the future. More please.

So, my only gripe is that niggle that was there at the start, the niggle that when the current scene goes belly up, how will they do then? Which is to say that next time I hope they can start adding a bit more of their own identity to it, because everything else seems to be there. And hopefully the next time will be soon, as the band have a bunch of new material ready to record.

Contact: Jamie, 4 Standen Terrace, Alkham Valley Road, Lower Standen, Folkstone, Kent CT18 7EW. e-mail