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A Bright Future
on 30 July 2009
Label 4AD are creating quite a stable of fine new talent.
Edinburgh-based band Broken Records have been compared with
Arcade Fire and one can understand why this might be so.
(The Waterboys came to mind for me from time to time).
They have none-the-less a highly distinctive
and persuasive sound all their own.
The unorthodox instrumental line-up includes violin, cello,
trumpet and accordian which when combined with guitar, piano,
bass and drums makes for a rich and diverse sound tapestry.
The album has not been overproduced by Mr Caple and the band.
There is a raw edge to the finished article which conveys an
almost 'live' feel to the proceedings.
Mr Sutherland's voice is a bit rough around the edges too
but this does not prevent him from bringing the music's
inherent emotionality to the surface.
He is at his best in the very beautiful 'A Promise' whose gentle
introduction builds by degrees to become an rousing anthem.
Opening track 'Nearly Home' takes time to establish its principal
musical idea. The drone of the introduction gives way to a
scintillating string ostinato and strident march supporting
Mr Sutherland's plaintively wailing falsetto.
A complex and highly erudite composition.
'Wolves', as you might well understand, is a particularly
interesting song for me (the pack referred to are distant cousins).
The piano/voice opening gives way to yet another martial tutti.
It is a formula which serves them well.
'Ghosts' is the fragile highpoint of the project.
A lilting air with an affecting central vocal performance.
The band's folk roots are no more obvious than on 'A Good Reason',
a ribald and rumbustious number full of gypsy-like energy.
The dramatic closure provided by 'Slow Parade' brought Mr Bowie's
'Rock 'n' Roll Suicide' to mind. A magnificent conclusion.
'Until The Earth Begins To Part' is a powerfully convincing
debut from a fine new band. The future looks bright for them.