Despite not having a monthly release schedule like they did last year, DAY6 has still been plenty busy in 2018. They may have only made one Korean comeback, but “Breaking Down” is now their third Japanese single in seven months, unveiled ahead of their first full J-rock album to be released next month.
“Breaking Down” follows up on the guitar-heavy sound of their previous singles, building to another solid-as-a-rock chorus. But this time around, the verses are the star of the show. Almost the entire first minute of the song is delivered in English, but it doesn’t feel shoehorned in or simplified. More importantly, the melody here is excellent, gradually descending along a spiraling structure that carries a wistful nostalgia. In fact, most of the song reminds me of a specific musical era in the late 90s, when rock merged with the ambient electronics of the time. It’s a style that suits DAY6 very well, drawing upon their emotive vocals for maximum effect.
The song’s chorus isn’t quite as inventive, and mostly feels like a retread of other DAY6 material. But if you’re going to retread old songs, you might as well pick some of the best. I’m certainly not complaining when it comes to “Breaking Down”‘s jagged guitars and slabs of synth. As far as Japanese roll-outs go, DAY6 have really done themselves proud. They may not have reinvented the wheel, but they definitely taught a new market what they’re all about.