Reviews:: The Broken Beats In the Ruin For the Perfect

After a few songs of the new Broken Beats record – In the Ruin for the Perfect – I was left trying to come up with a description for the sounds I was hearing. Then I jumped onto the NET to get some background info on the band and stumbled across a perfect description from Marathonpacks. Essentially, he took a bit more of a negative spin (at first) for the last record, but when he said – “in an attempt to acquire the same listeners that bought The 3 EPS”, I couldn’t help but channel the scene from High Fidelity where Cusack chucks on said 3 EPS to shill some records.

At times, the Broken Beats blend up an interesting mix of hip-hop drums beats with a very polished, fluid groove. Without trying to force a square peg into a circular hole, I can’t imagine hipsters hearing a few notes of the ominous Water and Oceans at the local record shop and not taking a mild interest. The record itself however, plays like a collection of singles or EPs, rather than a start-to-finish product. The Brit-rocking Weight of the Words starts the record with a simple acoustic and some fuzz and adds a backing chorus that sounds like the members were standing just outside the studio, bellowing in just to be heard, but the band jumps into a pseudo disco number on Essentials, with some falsettos and a jangled piano riff and some super tight snares. The quick changes sometimes work perfectly – the drums of Water and Oceans fade off into a nice bridge before the band brings the energy up, but in the same song, the grandiose strokes they paint with falsettos and summery guitar noodles make you think you are listening to another song.

There are some fantastic tracks on this LP, so I want to make sure that I stress that point. The piano intro of Black Fire lures you in before the sound explodes into a fuzzed out guitar riff and spastic drums. The stop and go the band relies on works well, and never disturbs the overall flow of the song. The Vincent Price eerie talk on Stan Still is strangley compelling, especially when the sounds gradual build into a fantastic track with pulsing drums. The pace continues to quicken and the orchestral strings really add to the chaos. The transition from the angry strums and claps on Breaking Me Down into a summery, almost floating vibe is another interesting dichotomy that works nicely.

It’s really tough to settle into a constant mood with this record. The nine-minute title track is a perfect example. It starts with a Tegan and Sara acoustic riff which fragments into some sparse strings. Suddenly, it switches gears completely into an atmospheric, moody instrumental segment and swells into a cinematic ooh and ahh number that feigns significance. Then the textures are gone and the original acoustic riff fills the void. This pattern repeats, leaving you with a disjointed closer, like that six fingered pitcher (Antonio Alfonseca – aka El Pulpo) who used to play for the Expos. I guess, in this IPOD world, coming up with strong tracks to brighten a playlist is the most important thing and the band is quite good at that, but the album as a whole is very tough to digest.

MP3:: Weight of the Words

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