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Broken Family Band - Cold Water Songs

  by Geraint Jones

published: 11 / 7 / 2003

Broken Family Band - Cold Water Songs
Label: Snowstorm
Format: CD


"Richly detailed and darkly whimsical" debut album from the British-based Broken Family Band, who have fashioned their own "peculiarly other-worldly interpretation of Americana/ alt country"

The Broken Family Band displayed plenty of promise on last year’s mini-album ‘The King Will Build A Disco’, which was accomplished enough, but in retrospect it was merely a taster of things to come. With their debut album proper, ‘Cold Water Songs, just released, that promise has been more than fulfilled, and how. Richly detailed and darkly whimsical, The Broken Family Band have fashioned a peculiarly other-worldly interpretation of Americana/ alt country, or whatever it is we’re calling it this week. How about damn fine music perhaps!? Comforting, whilst simultaneously oddly unsettling, the bands’ lyrics might raise a few eyebrows amongst the prudes out there, but most I suspect won’t be able to resist a wry smile despite themselves. Musically inspired to pursue the band’s current direction following an extended sojourn to Texas, whilst visiting the band Knife In The Water, The Broken Family Band, on this evidence have the potential to further develop into one of the genre’s most exciting prospects irrespective of which side of the Atlantic they’re from. Incorporating traditional instrumentation, the band is unafraid to extend beyond strict adherence to conventional structures when the mood suits them. Key songwriter and frontman Steven Adams’ occasionally fragile voice belies its ability to stealthily spit out more than a few barbs behind its veneer of vulnerability. The band readily admit that when they started they originally wanted to do some funny songs that they could play down the pub, but that there should to be a rule that all songs had to be about booze, women and Jesus. Country clichés all of course, but whilst that may have been some ago, many of those themes still remain at the core of the band’s debut, albeit in an often fascinatingly mischievous and subversive way and all wrapped in some of the most joyous and irresistible tunes you’ll hear all year. And there’s even an abundance of excellent banjo and pedal steel playing which ought to be good enough to blindside the purists as well. Hopefully the inclusion of Be Good Tanya, Samantha Parton on one the album’s many stand out cuts will help get the band some deserved wider media attention too as well as a larger audience which they thoroughly deserve. I’d imagine the band are a great live act too, so look forward to catching them with great anticipation and hopefully soon.

Track Listing:-
1 (I Don't Have the Time To) Mess Around
2 Twelve Eyes of Evil
3 Devil In the Details
4 Song Against Robots
5 Knut
6 Gone Dark
7 Don't Leave That Woman Unattended
8 The Mardi Gras Rescue Mission
9 At the Back of the Chapel
10 Nights In the Tractorbeam
11 You Were a Nightmare
12 Hitting Women

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Interview with Steven J Adams (2004)
Broken Family Band - Interview  with Steven J Adams
Since forming three years ago, British alt. country band the Broken Family Band have met with increasing acclaim and attention. Frontman Steven J Adams talks to Emma Haigh about the group's rapid rise and their new album, 'Jesus Songs'

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