Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Broken Poets surprise with a unique sound

February 11, 2011

Broken Poets‘ four-song, self-titled EP is an interesting breed. It opens up with what seems like a very familiar formula: after a 50-second atmospheric intro, a forcefully but quietly strummed guitar comes in with a chord-heavy piano. It sounds like the intro to every modern rock song ever. The vocalist comes in, and he’s got the aggressive pipes of a rock singer. I was ready to dismiss this.

But the chorus hits, and the band doesn’t kick it into overdrive. In fact, they never do. This is a band that consistently sounds like a modern rock band doing acoustic covers of its best songs. It’s a very peculiar sound that my ear had to get used to, because I’m conditioned after years of modern rock to expect the power chord chorus.

So, that’s a plus in Broken Poets’ pocket right off the bat: they mess with conventions. They had me listening intently the entire first song, waiting for what I thought was the inevitable. Never happened; the closest I got was some ghostly vocals and distant electric guitar to close the tune. Wow. That’s “Singularity.”

Turns out there’s only two members in Broken Poets, and this is the type of music they want to put out. The band plays with preconceived notions of intensity and songwriting in the beautiful “The Clairvoyant,” which ends up being a highlight. To say this is restrained is not exactly right; it feels restrained because I expect something else from where they lead me.

Broken Poets have a singular vision that they are accomplishing well. They don’t sound like anyone else right now, and that’s really cool. It’s an unusual sound, but it produces beautiful songs and unique arrangements. Check it out, for sure.

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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