Let Me Come Home
Four listens in and I am still trying to get my head around Broken Records’ latest album, Let Me Come Home.
The Scottish band’s first album, Until the Earth Begins to Part, was more folkie, layered with violins, accordions, and brass instruments. It was an exciting debut that established them among the best of the Scottish indie folk movement, inspiring critics to dub them as the Scottish Arcade Fire.
This second album has a sound that is much more polished and pop-oriented. If The Killers are the best American band to sound like an English band, Broken Records may be the best Scottish band to sound like The Killers, especially on the second track, “Modern Work Song.”
A lot of that has to do with lead singer Jamie Sutherland and his inspirations for Let Me Come Home. He lists American movies like Badlands and East of Eden, as well as the music of Bruce Springsteen and Nick Cave. The Killers often make me think of the Boss, if he’d grown up in the high desert glitz of Las Vegas.
Sutherland’s voice resonates very closely to that of Brandon Flowers, lead singer for the Killers, and the arrangements of most numbers are like anthems, with big and lush soundscapes.
But the more I listen to this sophomore outing, the more I hear influences from other Scottish bands; from the hints of Frightened Rabbit on the opening cut, “A Leaving Song,” to the shimmery Cocteau Twins shoegaze of “The Motorcycle Boy Reigns.” There are even hints of Snow Patrol, Del Amitri, and Belle and Sebastian scattered throughout. The band has also been compared to The Verve at the height of their career.
It’s as if Broken Records has compressed the entire history of Scottish pop and rock into ten deftly crafted songs. It shows that Scottish music has come a long way since The Bay City Rollers. And that is not a bad thing.
Broken Records: www.brokenrecordsband.com