Saddle Creek | Broken Spindles | Reviews



Author: Jake Haselman
05/04/2004 | | | Album Review
There is not enough dark pop music in the world. There's really not. Maybe that's why all these new-wave/no-wave bands are hitting so big. That bleak catchiness of bands of the 80's has been missed. I remember sitting in my room as a kid, hearing the brooding pop of the Psychedelic Furs or The Smiths and being haunted by it. Now, it wasn't until I was older that I actually owned any of those albums… but those haunting melodies that I heard on John Hughes films stayed with me for years. I missed that. Thankful there is a handful of artist that obviously missed that to. But with a trend comes cheap and bad imitators. This genre is in no short supply of knock offs. But, did you really think Saddle Creek would put one of them out?

Joel Petersen is Broken Spindles. The Faint bassist moonlights as this alter ego side project. Actually, it's a side project that was born from doing music for a friend's film project back in 2001. That led to his debut on Tiger Style in 2002, and now he has come home to Saddle Creek for it's follow up.

While The Faint connection is subtly evident throughout, Petersen creates a whole new persona with this release. Darkly cinematic, and full of twitchy pop goodness, Fulfilled/Complete finds Broken Spindles taking new directions. The addition of a string quartet and Joel's own vocals makes this album shine in ways the previous didn't. The ten tracks flow effortlessly from one to another; sucking you in from the moment you press play. It's a fully realized album.

But what did you expect from someone who's made a few records in his day? The more you do something, the more you understand how it works. And in this case Petersen has learned how to make a good album a great listen. I'm not going to call it brilliant; that would be going a little overboard. But this is a great album. Dark, haunting and all those other adjectives that go along with bad music journalism.



LP / CD / MP3