Author: Kim Newman
09/19/2005 | Altarmagazine.com | www.altarmagazine.com | Album Review
Maybe Joel Petersen from The Faint has been discussing musical influences with Xiu Xiu's Jaime Stewart. How else can you explain Petersen's side project Broken Spindles? Inside/Absent, Petersen's latest release under the moniker Broken Spindles, continues to mine a sound that's a stark contrast to The Faint's '80s synth-rock revival. Nope, he has not forsaken the bleeps and textures of electronics – Inside/Absent was first recorded entirely on his laptop while on tour with The Faint – but instead of a post punk electro aesthetic, Broken Spindles' style features a much more quietly dark and somber despair, all wrapped in a 20th Century DYI classical clamor Xiu Xiu's mastered. Utilizing silence and space might seem contrary to a purveyor of new wave dance punk but Petersen does just that throughout Inside/Absent. Both "Inward" and "Desaturated" feature a quiet and eerie piano, adding tension to the ghostly electronics. "Birthday" and "Anniversary" include slow and steady beats behind Petersen's monotone and misery.
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