Breakdown @ Public Assembly 12/22/12

Written by Big Smile Staff

Posted Dec 26, 2012, by The Bear.

Featured Artists: Breakdown; Get Involved; Incendiary; Shell Shock; The Last Stand; Genre: Hardcore; Punk; Rock;
In any branch of popular music there are not many groups that manage to stay together for many years; this is even more true in the music underground where it's much harder to make a living and groups share and trade members all the time. Nevertheless there are bands which manage, despite never reaching the charts, to stay together, build a following, and keep active for many years.

Breakdown is one such band. Forming in 1986 this New York Hardcore stalwart has been active in one form or another ever since. I've seen them several times (most notably in July, 1999, at CBGBs for the Leeway reunion show where I also took pictures of them), and they always put on a great show of fast, loud, energetic hardcore, lightened just a little by the lead singer's onstage chat.

On December 22, 2012, at Public Assembly in Brooklyn, the original line-up of Breakdown, which consists of Jeff Perlin on vocals, Carl Porcaro and Don Angelli on guitars, Rich McLouglin on bass, and Anthony Drago on drums, reunited for the first time in 25 years. This is the line-up that put out the first demo. in 1987 and the place was packed to see them play. It was well worth it. The guys may be older now but they still managed to tear things up with an intensity that was ferocious. Jeff Perlin's voice has held up well over the years and is immediately recognizable to any fan of east coast hardcore. Even though it was this line-up's first show together in 25 years the guys meshed very well and sounded terrific. The music was loud, fast, and hard, just as it should be. The set contained a lot of old material from early in the band's history, something the crowd greatly appreciated, and a very active mosh pit swirled in front of the stage for the whole set. This was definitely a show to remember.

Breakdown was ably supported by a line-up of four other bands. First up was Shell Shock, who played fast-paced hardcore punk and played it very well. I'd never seen them before but they were good. They were followed by Get Involved, who are made of members of Glassjaw and Thursday, and a singer who is not from either band. They played a newer style of hardcore, which mixed emo melodies and singing with hardcore riffs and screaming. The singer said that this was only their second show ever. If that's true then they are a band to watch as they were very tight together and played well. The last band before Breakdown was Incendiary, who also did a good set.

However my favorite act of the night (other than Breakdown) was The Last Stand, the third band to play. The Last Stand is made up of three members of Shutdown teaming up with the singer of their sibling band Inhuman (and I mean sibling band quite literally as the singers of both Inhuman and Shutdown are brothers). Although The Last Stand is still relatively new in the New York scene, having only played their first show a little over two years ago, they're already making a mark and drawing a following. They have one e.p. of their own and one split with another band out so far, but a full album is due from them in January, 2013, from Eulogy Records. In performance they turned in an excellent intense set of New York Hardcore of an older school style, meaning it was all fast-paced and loud punk without any slower "indie" stuff mixed into it. They were the first band of the night to draw any moshers out onto the dance floor, which says something in itself. Hopefully it will only be a matter of time before they're headlining their own shows. East Coast Hardcore lovers should keep their eyes on this band.

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