The Broken Family Band: album 2007

Hello Love
VÖ: 29.06.2007
Label: Track And Field Organisation
Vertrieb: Rough Trade

Hello Love is the fourth album from Cambridge´s The Broken Family Band, the follow-up to 2006´s critically acclaimed Balls. Recorded with Brian O’Shaughnessy (Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Beth Orton) in just 12 days last winter, it´s the band´s strongest yet, a superlative, warm-hearted collection of twisted love songs. It´s also their heaviest, most diverse, and ““ dare we say it ““ least countrified album to date.

“We wanted to rock a bit harder,” says frontman Steve Adams. “It´s our trajectory – we like the fact that we’re getting heavier with each record and we all enjoy hitting our things hard. Ten years in, we’ll sound like Mastodon.”

Adams also claims to have “stopped singing in American,” this time around, but admits you won´t notice at first. The Broken Family Band´s sound has always belied the band´s English origins, and there´s plenty here that places them firmly in the mid-Atlantic ““ obvious reference points include The Shins, The Pixies, Violent Femmes and Pavement. And for the first time, Hello Love finds The Broken Family Band exploring a single unifying theme – one that has inspired songwriters throughout the ages.

“Our songs are normally full of spite, but we wanted to make an album about love,” says Steve. “People could argue that it´s a theme that’s been beaten to death, but what else is there?”

These, then, are love songs filtered through the booze addled, world-weary viewpoint of The Broken Family Band. So, breezy opening track Leaps is “about having it off,” Love Your Man, Love Your Woman is aggressive, forthright and pounding and So Many Lovers tells the listener, “You should be happy in the infinite number of people who´ve loved and lost.” Elsewhere, You Get Me is, according to Steve, an “I can´t believe my luck song,” Little Justice is for “the powerless people being fucked over in the world,” and Seven Sisters brings the album to a crashing crescendo. Says Steve, who wrecked his throat singing the track: “Seven Sisters really just a long-winded way of saying, Hello miss, you´re nice, can we do that again? Oh, lovely. Ah, here you come, hello love!”

The Broken Family Band emerged four years ago, and instantly marked themselves apart from their contemporaries by simply not giving a crap. They play music for fun, not for stardom. They even kept their day jobs, reasoning that they shouldn´t give up their everyday lives even if it meant not touring much outside of the South East.

“I think we’re outside of all that fame stuff,” says Steve. “Like, kids suddenly started buying our stuff the other day because of a track on “˜Skins´. Fat people follow us around venues asking for autographs, but people in our daily lives have heard enough of our pop chat. We will never feel like pop stars.”

Happily, their reluctance to adopt to the rock “˜n´ roll lifestyle they could concentrate on recording as much as possible. And the songs just keep getting better. Slowly but surely, the Broken Family Band have built up a devoted cult following. Hello Love looks set to be the moment when the levee breaks – this is an album that demands attention.

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MELODYCAT, Denise Mayer, Schieferstr. 16, 65388 Bärstadt 0174/1774147

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