Material: Beauty In The Breakdown is introduced as being a hidden gem and one of the best local acts in Los Angeles. The focus is on Ashley who makes this performance unique with her skillful use of hand drums. She is definitely dressed to put on a rock show, with a glittery white bodysuit and neon red hair. It may sound like a wild combination, but this is almost Haim-meets-Shakira. What you get is both dance pop and contemporary rock akin to Phoenix and M83 on songs like “Satellite.” Thematically the lyrics have a positive message and overall that is the vibe you get from this group.
Musicianship: While the multi-drummer gimmick is often overdone, this band has the chops to pull it off. Ashley is a maniac on the hand drums, which makes this show a must- see. Reyes and Williams II are especially tight on the breakdown for “It’s Not Too Late,” while Rouse provides perfectly placed accents on “Save the World.” Alexander’s contributions are also central to the compositions as he offers great solos on “You Wake Me Up” and also shows appropriate restraint when needed. Overall you can hear Ashley's vocals clearly, which is a tribute to the group as a whole.
Performance: Ashley knows how to work the stage and the audience. An electric fan served both to cool her down and create a bit of theatricality by giving the singer that wind blown look. For “Around The World,” Ashley invited her audience to wave neon glow sticks, which had been distributed throughout the crowd prior to the show, adding to the rave feel.
Summary: Chastity Ashley really has something distinctive in her hand drumming, and it could become much more central to the act's performance. If they stick to what is driving their audience wild and build upon that, Beauty In The Breakdown only stand to grow. The group has the potential to become known for a sound that is wholly original.
Venue: The Bootleg Theatre, Silver Lake, CA
Contact: [email protected]
The Players: Chastity Ashley, vocalist, percussion; Ian Alexander, guitar; Alexandria
Reyes, bass; Demetrius Williams II, drums; Tim Rouse, keyboardist.