Derek Grant‘s Breakdown is exactly what the title says- it is about the crumbling realities that plague our interpersonal ecosystems. It is the reflections on breakups and the emotions inherit in them. It makes for a great eight-track LP from the multi-instrumentalist who has backed the rest of Alkaline Trio on drums since 2001.
Upbeat sadness is what I like to say about Breakdown. There is a sadness and the period of mourning for many after personal relationships go sour. That dark feeling that barely gets you out of bed in the late afternoon. What Grant has on this album is the next step in the process of moving on. Upbeat sadness.
“Waiting For The End Of The World” is a critique of that feeling of stale relationships. That time when it’s not that you dislike the person, but is there anyway to chew the bear trap off your limb and get away without violence. “Got A Feeling” has my favorite line of the album: “Fight for your life/fight for your love.” Beautiful.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it sounds a bit like Alkaline Trio. Or that Matt Skiba is a shadow in the recording studio, maybe. It does sound like Alkaline Trio, but it’s not as simple as that. You can hear bands that Grant has played with: Face to Face, The Vandals, and, nearly as prominent as Alkaline Trio or The Gaslight Anthem. “Love Is A Bad Dream” knocks you on your ass, because we have all had those dreams. “When I sleep, it makes me want to scream.”
Derek Grant is hurting, but he filters it into themes we can all relate to. This does not dilute his message, but reinforces that those isolating feelings you have creeping into the back of your head are normal. Derek Grant’s Breakdown tells us that it’s okay to hurt, but hurting with a purpose can lead to brighter futures and experiences that renew the soul.