Derek Grant has lent his musical talents to many groups and projects. He is noted most for his role as the drummer in Alkaline Trio, but to his credit, Grant has many more talents beyond what his claim to fame has led many to perceive. His abilities have allowed him to keep busy by recording and touring with varying bands over the years, and releasing some music of his own occasionally, but finally the time for his full-length solo album has arrived.

The most impressive detail of this album is the fact that Grant put the effort behind every instrument and lyrics this album is composed of; he wrote every line, sung every phrase, and played every instrument. For an album that was woven together through the efforts of only one person, Break Down leaves no room for repetition or dull delivery. No songs sound too much alike and there is a certain amount of diversity between the songs that keeps things refreshing. Each component, including voice, guitar, and drums, is executed well, and Grant displays a mastery of each one.

The energetic “Waiting For The End Of The World” speaks about a romance that hasn’t exactly taken off. “Got A Feeling” has a beautiful guitar line; the song itself is a hopeful cry and recollection of a memorable experience. A distinct groove and quick beat can be heard in “Lucy,” which features the description of time spent with a character of the same name. The first single off the record is “Love Is A Bad Dream.” The track has strong indie rock influences, and the guitar is dynamic with varying qualities. “Good Long Look” has influences of country and Americana through acoustic guitar and tambourine as well as catchy lyrics.

There are moments throughout where Grant experiments, but it enjoyably never goes off track. This should be attributed to his extensive experience and how well he knows how to play. With his amount of talent and craftsmanship, Break Down highlights the best of what Derek Grant is capable of.

In A Word: Justifying

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