Review of Broken Records album Until The Earth Begins To Part released through 4AD.
Broken Records, tattered heart strings: If you are looking for heartache, searching for emotion, longing for meaning, then look no further than the first minute and a half of Broken Records debut album on 4AD. A slow-building crescendo of strings, some twinkling whilst others drone, dipping to a lull, with a shimmer of cymbal. Then a lively violinist paves the way for the lead vocals. It's another minute or so before the drums kick in and it's enough to tip you over the edge. It does everything that a 4AD album should do: impress, emote and enthuse. Hell, it does everything that music should do. If the hairs on your arms are laying prostrate after 90 seconds of this record, consider yourself expired.
Emotion runs free here; Broken Records' very Scottish (well, they are Scottish, so that's a no-brainer.) sounding folk-rock is painted with poison on the palette and passion running through the cat-gut. They belie their youth and Jamie sings with the weathered rage of a man down on his luck and past his prime.
For a debut album, Until The Earth Begins To Part is incredibly accomplished and bold. At times, they veer worryingly into the grounds of pomposity. They'll have to be careful if they want to live up to the wearying tag that has been placed upon them of being 'the next Arcade Fire' - if they're not, they could end up being the next Keane. And frankly, none of us want that for them. Or for us.