Experimental Music Love

August 19, 2008

Broken Records – Edinburgh, Liquid Rooms 17/08/08

Filed under: Edinburgh Festival,Live Reviews — by Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 12:13 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Give them a few years, hoping that they learn not every instrument has to be played with the volume up to 11 along the way, and supporting act tonight, Jesus H. Foxx, may yet one day be mentioned in the same breath as Pavement. With similar anarchic backing vocals and spiky guitars, they belong in 90s America, though Edinburgh in the new millennium will gladly take them. And these cobbled streets wouldn’t say no to the headliners tonight either, with their Gothic euphoria something that can only be embraced by a city with such a beautiful but blood-stained past.

With numerous comparisons to Arcade Fire and Sigur Ros for a stunning orchestral sound and triumphant live performances that astound all lucky enough to bare witness to such a spectacle, Broken Records do have something of a reputation to keep up. The home-crowd elation, and a set of emphatically performed mini-epics, make sure this reputation is not only kept up, but enhanced in such a way as the mind boggles to think of how they could get any better, when still so young themselves.

The Arcade Fire comparisons are correct. But then so would comparisons to other varied magnificents of the live scene such as Gogol Bordello, Sex Pistols or Nick Cave. For Broken Records are a band of many talents and many moods. They master foot-tapping gypsy folk, before turning up the speakers and indulging in the frenetics of punk rock, then calming the mood with a piano led murder ballad and finishing off with an all-out classical assault that surely wouldn’t be too far off what Mozart would have written if he was alive now and had listened to too much Sonic Youth in his younger years.

Latest single ‘Slow Parade’ is a remarkable cavalcade of trumpet and violin, that builds and peaks with an impact almost too intense for the humble venue. ‘If the News Makes You Sad, Don’t Watch It’ has a similar unabated impact, unifying the local crowd in celebration of such an incredible song.

Some day, the world will make sense and Broken Records will be headlining Glastonbury to record crowds and bombastic critical acclaim. In the meantime, do everything in your power to see them now, as they hone their already immense skills on stages where their seven-strong set-up is in constant danger of falling off. And then be terrified at the thought that they can only get better.



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