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Album Review

Joel Petersen, aka Broken Spindles, returns with Fulfilled/Complete, another collection of evocative electronic rock. Down to its cover artwork, Fulfilled/Complete isn't radically different from its self-titled predecessor, but that doesn't mean it's a carbon copy of Broken Spindles, either. "Fall in and Down On" provides early proof that Petersen isn't just rehashing his previous work: the song's slightly treated vocals, buzzing synth bass, and busy rhythms are akin to, if not exactly like, Petersen's main band the Faint, and also has a slightly industrial feel. The song offers a sharp contrast to the more reflective pieces on Fulfilled/Complete, such as the swells of strings that make up "Induction" and "Song No Song"'s rippling pianos. The album really hits its stride on the kinetic "Move Away," and even though the monotone vocals occasionally become annoying (as on "To Die, for Death"), more often than not, they work. However, the tracks with singing find Broken Spindles moving in one direction, and the purely instrumental pieces find them moving in another, and sometimes the contrast between the two styles just ends up as a clash of sounds, particularly on "Practice, Practice, Preach," which ends up feeling like a lull between "Move Away" and the like-minded instrumental "Italian Wardrobe." Fulfilled/Complete ends on a spooky, promising note with "Harm" and "The Dream," both of which suggest that Petersen is close to perfecting his mix of electronic atmospheres and rock. It's not a perfect album, but it has enough of a connection to Broken Spindles to please fans of that album, and also show them where Petersen is going next.


Formed: 2002 in Omaha, NE

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Broken Spindles is the lo-fi electronic solo project of bassist Joel Peterson, the founding member of Omaha, NE‘s The Faint. His project began as an accompaniment to a friend's film project but was ultimately realized as an 11 track self-titled album released on Tigerstyle Records in 2002. This album was a curious mixture of electro, emo, Faint-style new wave and so-called incidental music with an aggressive yet retro-kitschy twist. Since there are no vocals, the drama came from quickly escalating...
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Fulfilled/Complete, Broken Spindles
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