On their latest album, Brooklyn’s Breaking Laces mingle hard-rock guitar crunch, major-key power-pop melodies reminiscent of ’90s bands like the Gin Blossoms, and a chuckling sense of humor. Come Get Some opens with probably its most hooky song, “Better Than Me,” which encapsulates all the band’s shiniest facets. When they do start to sound heavy, there’s still a light touch to the lyrics. In the slow “When the Lightning Comes” they even brighten the gloom with a church organ progression that unmistakably nods towards “Freebird,” the most comically hyper-serious number in the rock canon, and subsequently with a sparkling pop-staccato melodic passage Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin would never have sung in a million years.
Hooky melodies and lyrics keep things rocking when things get real, as in “Before You Drown”: “Before you drown/You’ve got to leave your token on the ground/’Cause what’s been done is coming back around.” Indeed it is. The Beatle-esque “Extra Time” leads into the sad-eyed “Weighted Down” whose jangly sounds keep it above water for the humorous “Mr. Curry is a Cop,” one of several songs that evoke high school days. (It even ends with a doo-wop melodic dip.) A youth on his “Post-Graduation March” waxes philosophical: “It is plain [that] things that might make you insane/Will always have room in your brain.”
The energy flags now and then on a couple of tunes, but this is one of those albums that generally maintain uptempo energy even as most of it rests in the midtempo range (and even slower). It’s precision-crafted power-pop that winks at you. The sort-of-rap number “I Used to Be a Boy Scout” makes the band’s ironic side explicit. And it’s that attitude that earns them their serious moments. I liked Breaking Laces when I first heard them back in ’06; my colleague Fitz liked their 2011 album When You Find Out and interviewed lead singer Billy Hartong; and I like them even more now.