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BRKN LOVE Self Titled LP Review

By: Samantha D'Alessandro

BRKN LOVE is a Toronto based rock & roll band fronted by Justin Benlolo, and they most definitely do ROCK. Yesterday, BRKN LOVE finally released their self-titled, debut album to the public after releasing four singles throughout 2019.

The first single "Shot Down" is impossible not to jam to. Between the super catchy riffs and Justin’s insanely powerful vocals, all you have left to do is headbang until you just can’t anymore. The heavy guitar riffs definitely seem to be influenced by hard rock groups such as Rival Son’s. This track is packed with energy and my only criticism would be that it’s not long enough, I need more time to jam!

The latest single that was released is a track titled "Flies in the Honey." Although the title seems quite familiar to another popular grunge song (Flies in the Vaseline by STP), it definitely is its own entity. Opposite of Shot Down’s powerful intro, this tune starts off quite mellow and soothing with low bass and guitar chords. It slowly builds up during the chorus and finally we get another awesome guitar riff. The thing I like about this track is that Justin’s voice is showcased on a lower register rather than the powerful, loud vocals we hear in Shot Down. The lyrics of this song are also pretty awesome referring to the industry and society and the feeling of being caught or stuck like flies in honey.

Enough about the singles, let’s talk about the album as a whole. First off, I can always appreciate a simple album cover which is exactly what we get with the BRKN LOVE album. Their logo is pretty badass consisting of a heart with a jagged dagger piercing it and it’s enough to catch someone’s eye on the white background. The album consists of 11 tracks and the hard rock/grungy sound carries it’s way throughout.

I will say I would have been curious to see a ballad track just to hear Justin’s voice in a slower stripped-down tune. That said, the album's tracks consist of moderate to high energy, rock and roll jams. Additionally, almost every song contains a really nice guitar solo. I love this because as someone who is not musically talented in any way, I love air-guitaring some tasty solos. I know I’ve talked about Justin’s voice quite a bit but that must be because it’s so dimensional and easy to listen to. On certain tracks such as "Papercuts", I almost start comparing some of his vocals with Chris Daughtry. It’s a subtle connection, but it can be heard especially if you’re a Daughtry fan.

I also find myself comparing his higher and more powerful vocals to those of Chris Cornell in songs like "Shot Down". Before I wrap this up there’s one other song that I think is worth singling out.

"I See Red" is a track that stood out to me from the rest because although it does contain that high energy, hard rock sound throughout the chorus, it’s the funky bass line at the beginning and during the verses that really catches your ear and draws you in. I think this little touch of funk adds a lot to the track and I have to say it’s up there in my top three songs on the album.

Overall, if you’re into hard rock and grunge, I recommend giving these guys a listen. It’s super cool to see a group of young guys embracing and building off the hard rock genre in an age of modern music.

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