Album: The Broken Family Band

<preform>Jesus Songs, Track & Field</preform>
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The Independent Culture

Taking their lead from such Americana iconoclasts as The Handsome Family and Low, Cambridge's Broken Family Band deal in thoughtful, atmospheric folk-rock rooted in their idiosyncratic perceptions of traditional roots modes and methods. Formed in 2001 with the intention of writing and playing only songs involving the three country-music staples of Jesus, sex and booze, they've so far released one full-length album and two mini-albums, of which this is the second; a small but perfectly formed work which does exactly what it says on the cover. "Walking Back to Jesus" is the main piece here, its three disparate sections spaced out amongst the seven tracks. Part One builds from a hesitant acoustic guitar intro to a rolling wave of banked guitars and understated drums, like a minimalist folk mantra, before subsiding again. The song's latter parts chug along on banjo, brushed snare, with sinister baritone accompaniment hinting at dark undertones; the original title incantation soured with doubt. In between a

Taking their lead from such Americana iconoclasts as The Handsome Family and Low, Cambridge's Broken Family Band deal in thoughtful, atmospheric folk-rock rooted in their idiosyncratic perceptions of traditional roots modes and methods. Formed in 2001 with the intention of writing and playing only songs involving the three country-music staples of Jesus, sex and booze, they've so far released one full-length album and two mini-albums, of which this is the second; a small but perfectly formed work which does exactly what it says on the cover. "Walking Back to Jesus" is the main piece here, its three disparate sections spaced out amongst the seven tracks. Part One builds from a hesitant acoustic guitar intro to a rolling wave of banked guitars and understated drums, like a minimalist folk mantra, before subsiding again. The song's latter parts chug along on banjo, brushed snare, with sinister baritone accompaniment hinting at dark undertones; the original title incantation soured with doubt. In between are equally quirky songs such as "Poor Little Thing", whose melody recalls Little Feat's classic "Willin' ". Warm, witty and engaging, without ever outstaying its welcome.

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