Breakdown’s Classic Self-Titled 1987 Demo Is Back on Vinyl
When you sit down and dream up your nerdlinger stockpile of the classic demo tapes from the New York hardcore scene of the late '80s, I’m sure your mind conjures a hot and heavy bevy of magnetic gems. Surely, all our lists will contain or exclude certain records, but I think it’s safe to say all will include that groundbreaking spool of hiss-caked glory that is the self-titled 1987 demo recorded by Yonkers' pride and joy, Breakdown. With its vengeful lyrical content, distinctive mid-tempo crunch and concealed metal leanings, this thing was the blueprint for the brand of hardcore that would come from the city for many years to come.
The always-on-point tag-team of Painkiller Records and 540 Records have rescued this classic bit of rage from the digital-only wasteland, remastered it from the original tapes and placed it on a nice, thick slice of proper vinyl. If that ain’t enough, they also tacked on a set the band recorded for the “Crucial Chaos” radio show on WNYU, plus a 12 x 24 poster jam-packed with never-before-seen pictures and stories from those who were there to witness it all. Get a taste of what’s in store with this remastered version of the Breakdown chestnut “You Gotta Fight”.
But don’t take our word about this beaut! Check out what founding Breakdown member / guitarist Carl Porcaro has to say:
In late ’86, when Breakdown recorded our demo, there were no other hardcore bands in Yonkers whose path we could follow, so we simply chose the studio that was closest to us. When we stepped into the Loft Recording Studios, we were as green as they come. We had never recorded a note before, and had only played a few shows; one of which was abruptly shut down when the kids that came to see us starting moshing. The recording engineer at the Loft was a gentle hippie type that seemed pretty freaked by us, but by the end of the day, we had recorded nine songs, all live with no overdubs, and we were super excited with the way it came out.
With the demo in hand, we were able to get shows all over the tri-state area, and our 14th show was at CBGB’s opening for Uniform Choice. By that time, we had sold a lot of demos, and as soon as we started playing, shit just kicked off. The whole crowd seemed to know the lyrics to all the songs and were singing along to every one! That was the first time that had happened with Breakdown, and it was our best moment as a band. It was also our last show, as the original lineup splintered in anger shortly thereafter.
Hardcore was everything to us back then, but it was kids' stuff and it wasn’t meant to last. At least that’s how it felt in ’87. Flash forward to today: We’re all really proud that people still want to hear these first songs that we ever wrote and recorded!