Friday, July 24, 2009

Going on a 4AD Jag (Episode 1)

As documented about a year ago I have a soft spot for bands that are signed to the 4AD label. In the past the label was the home of THE PIXIES, DEAD CAN DANCE and UNREST just to name a few. Whoever is in their A&R department has a tremendous ear for sound and bands that have tremendous artistic potential. Lately 4AD has put together a nice slate of new releases featuring some very unusual artists with very different sounds. Since they are all from one place it seemed appropriate to dedicate a short series of posts.

First comes the Edinburgh based band BROKEN RECORDS. Fellow blogger Song, By Toad has been all over these guys for a while so it is a bit disingenuous of me to write of them now but since they have just hit the states with their debut, "Until The Earth Begins To Part" it allows me to introduce them in this blog space.

At first I pegged them as a distant cousin of both FRIGHTENED RABBIT and THE POGUES since they often employ accordions, horns and other instruments into the mix. Additionally, the music often has the late night bar feel that The Pogues were famous for. But subsequent listens has given me a greater appreciation of the band's ability to create moments of grandeur and majesty in their music. "Nearly Home" takes a while to get to the crescendo but when it does it is as satisfying as anything I have heard in a long time. One imagines the live take of this song being something to behold as the band whips itself into a frenzy. Other songs, like the rocking "If The News Makes You Sad, Don't Watch It" recall the early efforts of THE WONDER STUFF. But despite all the knee jerk comparisons, they are unique in combining their efforts into something that has both emotion and power after repeated listens.

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