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Until the Earth Begins to Part (Bonus Track Version)

Broken Records

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Album Review

Edinburgh-based indie rockers the Broken Records' penchant for arena-sized anthems peppered with violin, cello, and accordion caused U.K. music behemoth NME to dub them the "Scottish Arcade Fire," a notion that holds more than a little weight upon digging into their bigger-than-life 2009 debut, Until the Earth Begins to Part. Like their American counterparts, the band sports an enigmatic front man (Jamie Sutherland) with a voice that is as unhinged as it is passionate (his throaty brogue casts a smoky Heart of Saturday Night-era Tom Waits/Darkness on the Edge of Town-era Bruce Springsteen pallor to the whole affair), a love for all things orchestral, and an unhealthy obsession with semi-apocalyptic, social melodrama, but while the comparison is apt, the Broken Records have more in common with early, "Big Music" -era Waterboys. Like Mike Scott, Spencer Chamberlain doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve, he's barely holding on to it with his fingertips. He's looking to connect, and on stand-out cuts like "Nearly Home," " Thoughts on a Picture (In a Paper, January 2009)," and "Slow Parade," he lands a knockout blow, but more times than not, that conviction is nullified by long bouts of midtempo balladry and a sense that all of these songs would sound far more grandiose in a live setting. As far as debut albums go, Until the Earth Begins to Part may not be as important as it thinks it is, but it certainly delivers the promise of greatness.

Biography

Formed: December, 2006 in Edinburgh, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Formed in 2006 around the talents of Arne Kolb, Ian Turnbull, David Fothergill, Jamie Sutherland, Rory Sutherland, Dave Smith, and Andrew Keeney, the emotionally charged Edinburgh, Scotland-based indie rock outfit Broken Records have drawn comparisons to everyone from the Arcade Fire to Jeff Buckley. Employing a musical arsenal that includes guitars, bass, violin, cello, accordion, mandolin, piano, trumpet, glockenspiel, and drums, the soaring septet released its self-titled debut EP in 2007 to the...
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Until the Earth Begins to Part (Bonus Track Version), Broken Records
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