Issue February 2, 2011

Let Me Come Home

Broken Records
4AD

Broken Records are so indie it hurts. Dig the lazy pun band-name, artsy song titles (“You Know You’re Not Dead,” “A Darkness Rises Up”) and tense guitar/bass/drums/piano/strings template circling in cold-blooded minor keys. This forward-thrusting sextet has been hailed as “the Scottish Arcade Fire,” and the comparison is well earned. On their sophomore full-length, Let Me Come Home, they mix the overblown theatricality of The Killers with Arcade Fire’s focus. Frontman Jamie Sutherland’s dramatic, quivering vocals are clearly influenced by Brandon Flowers, while the band’s lush instrumental template proves they’ve listened to Funeral a time or two. On occasion, Broken Records threaten to over-emote, but even at their corniest, they prove themselves masters of harnessing tension — opening barn-burner, “A Leaving Song,” pretty much masters the formula straight out of the gate, igniting layers of rackety percussion and fuzzed-out bass in an explosive, lighter-waving chorus.