Saddle Creek | Broken Spindles | Reviews



Author: Dick Sullivan
07/19/2004 | Dallas Music Guide | | Album Review
Broken Spindles is the creation Joel Peterson, bassist for The Faint.  Originally crafted as a soundtrack, the work of Broken Spindles has come to admirable fruition with 2004's Fulfilled/Complete, a peaceful alliance between electronics and symphonies, into which the composer has poured all of his cautious audacity. 

Broken Spindles mixes trance beats with the subtle, mellow, hypnotic textures of electronic keys and orchestral swells.  The soft murmur of strings on "Induction" and "Fall In and Down On" stretches the songs beyond their rhythmic borders.  "Song No Song" is minimalist piano at its most elegant.  While Fulfilled/Complete begins with the mellower swoons of cello and violin, the determined guitar riffs of "Italian Wardrobe" and "Events & Affairs" eventually cut through the album's otherwise reserved tone.  Vocals are used sparingly, which gives Fulfilled/Complete a stoic, wise quality, like a man who uses words conservatively and only when entirely necessary.

The songs are opuses, every one, with the modesty and length of pop songs, yet distinctly misanthropic.  The compositions seem to have a natural mistrust of the world, like a shy child peaking around a corner.  You barely get a look before they disappear.  And while there is nothing on Fulfilled/Complete that denotes joy or optimism, the album as a whole appears terribly earnest and maybe just a little frightened of its own greatness.

It's been a while before I've heard something with such broad appeal.  Peterson bridges genre gaps with unnatural ease.  Perhaps I'm simply becoming a raver by small doses, but Broken Spindles'Fulfilled/Complete seems to embody everything that's good about the hypnosis of synthesized beats, the beauty of classical fluidity, and the fearlessness of amped-up six-strings.  Simultaneously fragile and courageous, Broken Spindles' Fulfilled/Complete is surely a welcome emblem of beauty.  Like a statue painstakingly carved out of marble, it is fixed as the solid, impenetrable work of a sculptor who has also invested care and time in carving each individual hair.


LP / CD / MP3