Whoa, I popped this on and I was met by an intense Metallica-esque riff. What was I getting myself into? Then, things cooled down into nice melody, the edge was off. I would find that the riff would return at the end of the track, bookending it with boldness. The following track lost the melodic feel that was sandwiched between the metal-head mania and traded it in for some rough thrashing jams. I just can’t help but hear Sonic Youth’s influence in this kind of stuff. I mean, total grit, uber grunge distortion, exchanged coed vocal duties, cavernous bass lines, all with a somewhat sing-songy quality. I could see this sitting next to Religious Knives or Little Claw or something else of that persuasion. It seems to be closer to the Sonic Youth end of things than the other two though.
No matter how you slice it, Broken Water freaking rocks. They have some killer guitar that either lures you in with its hypnotic sweetness or rolls you over with its crushing heaviness. The bass bobbing gets you to instantly hum along. And all the voices are equally enjoyable and in no way detract from the music. They are a very helpful element and do what singing should do in the context of a band: lead with humility. After spending most of my time listening to instrumental drones and noise it’s nice to hear some tracks with more usual song structures. Broken Water’s just a solid band. Can’t go wrong with this! It’s a crowd-pleaser without trying.
With average song lengths typical of any rock album, the eight tracks go fast. They are all pretty great though. And they get the usual Night People treatment. A Shawn Reed designed mural/collage of random photographs and design carefully pieced together with a proper tension. All printed on a 12”x12” piece of cardstock and stuffed into a plastic vinyl sleeve. Night People always have some of the most uniform yet innovative designs as far as the actual art itself goes. Like I said, can’t go wrong with this.