Friday, February 02, 2007

The Broken West - Down in the Valley

Download: The Broken West - Down in the Valley

The Broken West sound like a California band. Their first full-length, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On, is chock full of "sunny" melodies that seem tailor-made for the next OC compilation. That's not necessarily a criticism, either. Quality power-pop albums are few and far between, and, for all its faults, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On is a fine record. Certainly, the band's songs go down easy, and the record is strikingly consistent. But consistent records are often unmemorable records, and that's The Broken West's biggest problem: I Can't Go On has no real low points, but it doesn't have any high points, either. The record is flat – no valleys, no peaks. It's like sex without the orgasm, vanilla ice cream with no chocolate sauce. You get the idea.

I'm probably being a little too harsh; I really do enjoy the album. It just strikes me that the only chorus that's managed to stick in my brain is from "Down in the Valley," a driving slice of pop-rock that reminds me of the first few Beulah records, replacing that band's tinny horns with warm synths and sturdier guitars. Check out the record here


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