Broken Down II

Self Released

Rating: 3.5/5



Tony Lovato, the frontman of long standing Illinois pop punk act Mest, has just released a new acoustic record, the second in the Broken Down series. The Kickstarter funded project features Tony Lovato performing stripped down versions of fan favourites from the extensive Mest back catalogue. Acoustic releases can be a difficult trick to pull off, shorn of the energy and adrenaline that traditionally accompanies punk releases the spotlight is shone on the songwriting, and in some cases this has led to somewhat underwhelming straight up acoustic revisions of classic songs.
The album’s opener, Say So Long, features an acoustic run though that’s accompanied by piano that adds a melancholy feel to the song, and imbues the track with a very different feel to the original version that appeared back in 2001 on their Destination Unknown album. Other tracks are closer to the originals and are stripped down versions that don’t deviate from the original template, but it’s when the arrangements are changed that albums like Broken Down II come into their own, and for the most part Mest‘s latest release offers a different approach to the upbeat pop punk that they are best known for
Mest are not the first to release an acoustic album, everyone from Alkaline Trio through to Bad Religion‘s Greg Gaffin and Anti-Flag have delivered impressive acoustic releases, and I think that Broken Down II can be added to the list. I’ve encountered a number of acoustic albums that don’t bring anything new to the party and are only of interest to the die hard fans, with Broken Down II there is a stark and downbeat approach to the majority of the revisions, and it’s the fact that Mest have done something different with their source material that will make this a welcome addition to any self respecting Mest fans collection.
You can pre-order Broken Down II via iTunes here and stream the album via Spotify here and Apple Music here