Saddle Creek | Broken Spindles | Reviews



Author: James McQuiston
10/24/2005 | | | Album Review
The mixture of heavy vocal presence (Joel Peterson of The Faint) with a
very electronic, eighties-reminiscent arrangement makes tracks like
„This Is An Introduction‰ into a sleeper dance hit. The cover of
„Inside/Absent‰, a continuation of Broken Spindles‚ last album
(self-titled) really is a perfect representation of the style of music
that is dominant on the disc. The instrumentation is the reason for the
angular landscape, but the very humane vocals of Joel delineate this
blockiness into a distinct humanoid, tying together electronic
structure (the blocky body) with an untamable soul (the round head).

Bringing back Taco‚s version of „Puttin‚ On The Ritz‰ for eir „Please
Don‚t Remember This‰, the very deliberate beat to this track really
screams Chromeo and Nine Inch Nails instead of Bright Eyes. In a sense,
the vocals really look to Momus for their main influence, which means
that this track is a pinnacle of oddity in a disc full of
always-challenging tracks. Inserting instrumental tracks at
opportunistic points on the disc, Broken Spindles really allow the more
sedate sound of the instrumental to bolster the energy of the tracks
that follow them (such as is the case with „Desaturated‰ and
„Birthday‰). In a sense, „Birthday‰ has some of the same Spartan sound
and vocal harmonies as „People Are People-era‰ Depeche Mode, even if
the instrumentation is darker (almost of a shade near that of the
average horror movie score). Placing eirself right between nineties
industrial and „Moonwalker‰-age Michael Jackson for „The Distance in
Nearsighted‰, Joel really struggles with a speedy delivery.

This delivery, deadpan as all get out really does not elicit bizarre
versions of harmonies as much as they do comparisons to Cake and
Bloodhound Gang. The entirety of „Inside/Absent‰ finishes up well under
thirty minutes, and even at this quick runtime there seems to be a
certain weight given these compositions that delude listeners into
thinking this album is much later. However Spartan these arrangements
may be, the way in which they are constructed really give listeners
much to chew on. „Anniversary‰ may just be the pinnacle of the disc, as
ignorance of traditional time signatures allow the heavily-synthesized
beat of the track to explore ground previously only broached by
pioneers like Aphex Twin. The same deadpan vocals present on this track
allow for a divided focus to dominate; listeners can take two completely
different matters from this track. Chilling, with a brilliance

Top Tracks: Anniversary, Painted Boy Face

Rating: 7.1/10


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