Reviews

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Author: Paul Leeds
04/08/2004 | Culture Bunker | www.culturebunker.com | Album Review
Broken Spindles is the side solo project of Joel Peterson from synthwave goths, The Faint. Wait! Come back here! I'm not a big fan of The Faint either, but don't write off Broken Spindles. For one, there is no dancewave madness going on. For another, this album vectors out from a multi-instrumentalist equally at home playing trance pop and indie rock. To whet your appetite, BS starts with a crystalline key melody layered with strings. The more rythmic numbers on here present a stylistic symbiosis with the sound sculptures of Aphex Twin and the quirkiness of Moby. "Fall In And Down On" is one such computerized pulse. Before you can escape, BS trots out a contemplative piece with piano and chime. It's called "Song No Song," and lives in an underwater kingdom of light rays penetrating deep into the icy depths. It's a mood piece. Peterson adds his voice to several songs on this disc, unlike previous outings. "To Die, For Death," takes a Spiritualized kind of guitar strumming and applies an Appalachain cadence over it, "I'm ready to die, ready for death." Peterson sings it in a low, intimate manner that suggests the narrator is singing it to himself, like the prayer of a condemned man. The variety in mood between the tracks creates an interesting state of melancholy. The piano and strings and somber colorings recall the delicate musings of Durutti Column. The ambient tones and electronics of "Italian Wardrobe" call to mind the drive-crashing agility of Radiohead on good behavior. The staccato burst of guitar notes shoots through the stillness on this song, disturbing the wildlife into flight. This is my favorite song on the album. Overall, Broken Spindles offers a concoction of chill out and crash out. From the fine-boned delicacies of their piano and strings songs to their pulsing guitar martinis, Broken Spindles mix 'n' match like your aunt at a fabric sale. It's an adventurous piece. BS is not content with making elaborately fragile songs nor cold blooded beat friendly songs. A surprising good mix of sounds. 8 out of 11.
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