“Power Pop is right,” I thought to myself after feeling the twinge of bruises forming on my thighs. The way that some songs just make people tap their toes or hips and get up and dance, `On the Bubble’ from The Broken West’s debut album, I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On, made me slap hands and fists into my thighs because of the way every beat beat the speakers steady like the ground under the feet of a marching band.
The simple uniformity behind all of the variances of vocal melody has a sort of hypnotic trance effect to the listener, being able to catch onto the basics of the song like the tune had been buried in their mind from birth. So much ease when getting into the groove brings the listener a heightened sense of confidence to explore beyond just the pattern given in bursts of guitar and drum, syncopating the beat into measures unheard of in pop music, venturing off into territory they never have seen before like a polar bear in Paris, but strolling, even strutting with confidence, even exuberance. But instead of a large scale musical number, this is a private session with the listener and The Broken West.
The Broken West are also fond of a little bit of exploring within their songs, catching glimpses of many far off places in a short time like luggage stickers on a 1940s suitcase. The end result to all of this is something like a little jam session between The Broken West and their listener. Things never get too complicated, always keeping the base rhythm in close listening distance for the listener to build upon if their beat might crumble. Not to worry with The Broken West.
There is a reset button, because after all, this is just a little pet project for the listener, a hobby plane in the basement with all sorts of changes of mind and different directions incorporated into its architecture. This kind of intimacy is the connection that The Broken West creates with its listener without even being able to put names or faces to the music. The music already has that kind of face that’s amiable and inviting like a grade school crush, and the surge of confidence to be more than just that boring old self pulses from the heart, giving energy to do whatever comes to mind, to explore.
The Shins – Oh, Inverted World
Pernice Brothers – The World Won’t End
The Posies – Every Kind of Light