Author: Katie Hasty
05/25/2004 | Stop Smiling | www.stopsmilingonline.com | Album Review
I think that Joel Petersen, aka Broken Spindles, wanted his new recordFulfilled/Complete to be as comprehensive as the title insinuates. Although the album is diverse with styles and experiments, it doesn't necessarily mean he's good at all of them (although he proves much of his worth as bassist for the Faint). The opening track, "Induction" is promising and attractive, a simple instrumental track of subtleties. Unfortunately, it moves promptly into "Fall In and Down On," Petersen's monotone voice searing over rough-hewn dance beats with the overarching soulless-ness of a Fischerspooner single. Although Petersen's voice is a welcome addition to many of the industrial rhythms and minimalist instrumental gaps, its mechanistic qualities drain songs of their natural emotions and climaxes. On "To Die, For Death," his droning "ready to die, I'm ready for death" is too cold for me to believe him, the drama of such a statement lost in hopes that of the song actually becoming interesting. Thankfully, his decision to include sweeping string arrangements atop synths and drum beats keep up the pace while also making spare songs juicier. Although it's clear that Petersen exerts mastery over his tools, Fulfilled/Complete, though consistently dark, lacks internal cohesion, a cue to Petersen that (hopefully) third time'll be a charm.
CD / LP / MP3