51 Breaks are a four-piece indie band from Birmingham who have already garnered support from Radio 6 Music’s Tom Robinson. There are three tracks on this, their debut single.
‘Blueprints,’ is given the kudos of ‘title track,’ and after a few plays the melody and hook take grip. A brief electronic keys intro promptly invites the band to launch straight into the resounding chorus before the first verse is dealt with. No messing about then! The link-phases with the keyboard are mildly irritating, but lead singer Michael has a very distinctive vocal style that carries the track through. I’m betting that this is one of the first songs jotted down on the band’s live set-list. A bit of a crowd-pleaser I would think.
‘Embers,’ again features the annoying keyboard whine, I’m afraid. Overall however, the strong chorus and frequent change of beat keep it interesting enough.
‘Dirty Hands,’ is for me the track that sells this single – if it was the lead track this would be getting 5 ?s. The keyboard is again present, but is much more subtle and is used in a lot less obvious manner here. The vocals take on a greater range and the ‘Oh oh oh,’ backing vocals used as a precursor to the catchy chorus give this a more universally popular feel. There are pace changes aplenty and strong guitar work helps this track remain in the brain longer than the others. It is catchy and would have more commercial viability than the other featured songs. Whereas the preceding two tracks are good enough, ‘Dirty Hands,’ is excellent and worth checking out, as it is this song that I feel could give these four lads the one break they need. (Damn! I was so determined not to make that obvious remark…..!)