Friday, March 23, 2012

Broken Shoulder-The Tape of Disquiet

As completely obvious as it seems, it's rather perfect that Broken Shoulder named his newest release The Tape of Disquiet. Disquiet is a much better description of the style of of ambient music that Broken Shoulder makes rather than say "noisy". The band (even though it's just one man) personifies this with the massively sprawling A-side/opening track "Oak & Mirrors" Really encapsulates everything Broken Shoulders is as an artist, mainly their/his ability to meld abstract guitar lines in conjunction with the non sequential but not random workings of the analog synths, here mashing them together so seamlessly that it just envelopes the listener in a warm fuzz. The fact that the song manages to be twenty minutes long, and not seem overlong, is a testament to the band.

The B-side, handles in darker territory, probably best exemplified by the cassettes art work. "Other Tropisms" is the closets the band is has come to pulsating with one their tracks, though it does emerge at it's end in the same warm synth bath as to fit together nicely in Broken Shoulder's discography. "Marry in Haste" is the shortest song and a very lovely track, sparkling almost, especially the way Broken Shoulder uses his guitar work in the second half of the song to raise it to substantial heights, creating the audio version of watching the sunrise. Then the tape ends so not quietly with the dusk evoking "Mirah", at once a mixture of rising and dropping synth lines and feed back guitar lines, all dropped under water.

I would kick myself if I didn't bring this up as well. My buddies over at Audio Anti-Hero put out a wonderful split EP a little while ago between Broken Shoulder and the band he played (plays) in before he broke his shoulder and started creating his solo material. The Broken Shoulder's side is more in the style of crafting waves of fuzzy synth and guitar-lines-that-sound-like-screams that crash over you again and again. Here Broken Shoulder truly solidifies that he is the UK's answer to Kevin Greenspon. The Fighting Kites side is very cool though. It's instrumental indie music that is neither post rock nor ambient. Instead the band has crafted four quiet excellent instrumental indie rock tracks. Just perfect Pavement with touches of math rock-esque jams without the vocals. And if you don't think it would work, take one listen to "Wojtek the Bear" to be proven wrong. A great EP, go and get it.


Broken Shoulder's Tumblr
Fighting Kites' Bandcamp
Buy The Tape of Disquiet here, from Tape Your Mouth
Get the split EP here, from Audio Anti-Hero

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