Review : Broken Records - Until the Earth Begins to Part
PitchforkThe title of "If The News Makes You Sad, Don't Watch It" is not played for laughs. Nothing on this record is. But there's a line where Broken Records soapboxer Jamie Sutherland bellows, "from the couch here, I plead apathy." Unless he's being non-autobiographical, the only natural response upon hearing the rest of Until the Earth Begins to Part is to call bullshit. This album is meant to inspire a sort of lurking dread that you're not doing enough things with your life, and as such, "apathetic" ranks as one of the least-accurate words to describe it. Like a high-school junior volunteering his Saturday at a rescue home, it's concerned, intense, and very much motivated. And like that same person, whatever altruistic intent they have is overshadowed by being so goddamn serious, they're impossible to bear for more than a half hour.
I hesitate to bring up that an influential UK publication called them "the Scottish Arcade Fire" because on the surface, that's the sort of simplistic catch-all comparison that a band spends the rest of their career unfairly trying to live down. But it's helpful in terms of figuring out where everything went wrong-- rather than Funeral catharsis, Sutherland abides by Neon Bible tendency to blunt and oversensationalize. With that, I suppose there's no other choice for this sort of cheap-seats bound stuff than to deal with governmental distrust, post-apocalyptic prophesying, and childlike wonder at the inner workings of one's body: you'll find it completely against type to even acknowledge such a mundane household fixture as a couch. Instead, much of Until the Earth comes off like the narrator from "Windowsill" still telling these damn kids to get off his lawn....full text
DustedmagazineTrue, “subtlety” is not the first word one thinks of in regard to the Arcade Fire. And yet Edinburgh’s Broken Records, whom the murmurs have begun to tout as Scotland’s answer to the Arcade Fire, make it plain that it takes more than accordion and strings and elaborately wrought Weltschmerz to sell a lack of subtlety. Until the Earth Begins to Part is the best foot forward from a band whose every motion swells with great passion, but who are so preoccupied with the adornments of great passion that they often leave the substance to be inferred.
Maybe “substance” is the wrong word. Until the Earth… is a crowded, engaged album, concerned with what singer Jamie Sutherland calls “all the shit things men do” and intent on conveying that concern with seven players’ worth of instruments. There’s nothing damning about that per se – consider the Arcade Fire’s Funeral and Coldplay’s Viva la Vida, two much better albums that are just as evangelically cheesy. What’s missing here isn’t content, just some of the details that allow albums like those to draw you in even as they beat you over the head with sentiment....full text
Theskinny.Since Broken Records first emerged in Edinburgh in 2007, Scottish music fans have awaited their debut album with huge anticipation. The Skinny has featured or positively reviewed them several times, but does their debut deliver? Ally Brown places Until the Earth Begins to Part under the microscope.
Broken Records have had 18 months of building support from fans, bloggers and critics in the run-up to Until The Earth's release this month. A superb self-titled debut EP and regular enchanting live shows all over Britain had them marked as an obvious prospect. In fact, success seemed an inevitability, because unsigned bands as fully formed as Broken Records never stay unsigned for long. That no record deal was forthcoming from the rumoured bidding war until a celebrated signing with 4AD in January of this year was a only a minor concern....full text
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