Release Date: Jul 7, 2009
Record label: 4AD
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Until the Earth Begins to Part is the full-length debut from the band NME dubbed “the Scottish Arcade Fire”. From the first track on, it’s easy to see how such a moniker could be given, but it’s also hard to see how it could be denied, so apt is the comparison. The violin’s prominence, swelling and fading throughout the opener, “Nearly Home”, does evoke the lush, string-filled ambience of that certain Canadian band, especially as vocalist Jamie Sutherland whimpers, “I had a good idea / Let’s lay these bones to rest.” “If the News Makes You Sad, Don’t Watch It” is a decidedly more Scottish number; the brass and the danceable beat construct a triumphantly vulnerable folk rhythm.
Edinburgh-based indie rockers the Broken Records' penchant for arena-sized anthems peppered with violin, cello, and accordion caused U. K. music behemoth NME to dub them the "Scottish Arcade Fire," a notion that holds more than a little weight upon digging into their bigger-than-life 2009 debut, Until the Earth Begins to Part.
Earnestness is the keynote of Broken Records' debut album, an intensity of purpose that threatens to engulf its 10 songs. The seven-piece from Edinburgh seem to be at war on two fronts: to live up to comparisons to Arcade Fire and to distinguish themselves from 2008's much-hyped Scots, the similarly melodramatic Glasvegas. There are moments when they are thrillingly victorious on both counts: when trumpet, violin and cello surge and swoon in the title track and Thoughts on a Picture (in a Paper, January 2009), and particularly in an ersatz klezmer love song addressed to Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, which is as rapturous as it is pretentious.
The debut album by Edinburgh septet Broken Records arrives riding a wave of hype, mostly generated by ubiquitous proclamations that they are 'the Scottish Arcade Fire'. However, to this writer's ears at least, they bear a startlingly resemblance to one other band in particular: The Waterboys. Frontman Jamie Sutherland's tremulous, sometimes rasping pipes at times bear an uncanny resemblance to Waterboys frontman - and fellow Edinburgher - Mike Scott, most evident on the re-recorded version of early single 'If the News Makes You Sad, Don't Watch It'.
[I]What do you think of the album? Let us know by posting a comment below.[/I].
The 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.