There's a touch of Chase and Status' 'No More Idols' to new Breakage album 'When the Night Comes' - and that's not just down to Liam Bailey making an early appearance on a recreation of 'Inner City Life'.
The rawness comes buffed, filtering a hi-spec sheen swallowing studios in its sleep. Breakage shapeshifts, clearly wanting to leave behind the brutality of Newham Generals stamping ground 'Hard' or the profundities and hazardous exhilarations of debut 'This Too Shall Pass' – less rudebwoy, more street-smart sophisticated.
It takes boss jungle rollers 'I On You' and 'Dedication' and dub avenger 'Natty' to explode and dent the chrome finish, and prove James Boyle hasn't left his past behind entirely. Still all about broodiness, purring horsepower and the sullenness of rebellion, Breakage's silent assassinations are pretty non-complex.
Bringing late night spite through undercover urban pop, the album finds female vocals - including the return of Jess Mills - taking greater responsibility. Taking their lead from Zarif's 'Over' and Erin's 'Justified' from 2010's 'Foundation', it's a shame that over time they sound all picked from the same pool of eloquent half-scorned finger-pointers.
Darkened house cuts 'To Be Around You' - following the classic dichotomy of sweetened lyrics and butch exterior - and 'Own Worst Enemy' man-mark the dancefloor, keeping matters neat and tidy. Ignoring 'Creepers' - whose simplification verges on a European bounce - the calculated nocturnal behaviour operating in parallel to the whole night-watch/under-scrutiny vibe flows well.
The upped slickness does mean the album offers little in the way of the provocative, though, so you may be disappointed by Breakage's leniency, and a wrath that's merely implied.
Words: Matt Oliver
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