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Broken Records - If the News Makes You Sad, Don't Watch It

  by John Clarkson

published: 22 / 4 / 2008

Broken Records - If the News Makes You Sad, Don't Watch It
Label: Young Turks
Format: 7"


Riveting vinyl only debut single from new Edinburgh-based indie electric folk septet, Broken Records

With its opening sound of a cranky bass sputtering up, ‘If the News Makes You Sad, Don’t Watch it’ looks set initially to be another very standard indie record. It is quickly, however, revealed to be anything but that with guitar, violin, cello, piano and even an accordion and a trumpet all within a matter of seconds being blasted into the mix, creating a rattling, sweeping soundscape of gigantic size. Broken Records, an Edinburgh based septet, have been making waves on the central Scotland scene since forming in late 2006, and have played over sixty gigs in the last year, including support slots for Idlewild, Emma Pollock, the Twilight Sad and the Editors. ‘If the News Makes You Sad, Don’t Watch It’, a robust attack on apathy and the never-ending negativity of the news, is their debut single, and released only on 7” vinyl, is limited to just 1000 copies. Arcade Fire are an obvious comparison. The sprawling Edinburgh group have a similar guttural power, but with their earthy Celtic energy and the political nature of some of singer Jamie Sutherland’s lyrics (“That’s what I want to see/No more blood/No tears/No more greed”) , Broken Records’ fervent brand of electric folk rock also slots in a gap somewhere between the Levellers and the mid 80’s Waterboys at the height of their ‘Big Music’ era. In a final twist, ‘If the News Makes You Sad, Don’t Watch It’, as suddenly as it flared up, in its last minute equally dramatically shores away, fading out with a sublime duet between Sutherland’s brother Rory’s violin and the stabbing piano of Ian Turnbull. Its B side, ’Lessons Never Learnt’, is softer in tone throughout, but with its whirring Eastern European Romany- influenced accordions and strings, and the world-weary melancholy of Sutherland’s vocals (“History won’t change/It’s just the same mistakes of angry men who promise change/who will spill blood and take no blame”), similarly and equally effective. This is a riveting and enthralling first single from a new group who seem to trade on surprises and who are a name to be watched out for in coming months.

Track Listing:-
1 If The News Makes You Said, Dont Watch It
2 Slow Parade

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