The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Broken Record – BROKEN WATER: Wrought (Night People, 2016)

El tercer larga duración de Broken Water se titula Wrought (Night People, 2015), y es una continuación lógica a su anterior trabajo: Tempest (2012). Los de Olimpia continúan moviéndose en la misma visceralidad Dream-Punk cercana tanto a posiciones de lo que fue el Pop vanguardista como del Post-Grunge. Una bonita mezcla que les sitúa en una posición quizás algo solitaria en el vasto paisaje musical actual, lo cual les concede además el privilegio de ser una de las bandas más originales del momento.
Su disco es áspero, duro a las primeras escuchas, pero disfrutable al dedicarle la atención necesaria. Quizás a ello también contribuya el trabajo de Steve Fisk (Nirvana, Beat Happening) quien se ha encargado de limar ciertas asperezas que aparecían en su sonido anterior, aunque quizás éstas también formaran parte de su encanto.
Sea como fuere, Wrought se sitúa en una especia de islote musical privilegiado desde el que se puede atisbar un amplio panorama musical y una suerte de influencias que han dado como resultado un sonido verdaderamente personal.

“The sound mixes ebbing shoegaze guitars and fast pings of aggression, with vocals split between Pooknyw’s indie-pop lilt and guitarist Jon Hanna’s scraping, unapologetically grunge twang. Broken Water are a politics-upfront kind of band, the kind whose drummer would take her clothes off at a hardcore festival todeconstruct ideas about materialism, punk, and image; scream “MALE FREEDOM” at men taking up too much space at shows; who had a song on their first demo called “Feminism”which plainly (and literally) spelled out the word in the lyrics. At the same time, they’ve also routinely drawn inspiration from improvisational psych-punk and drone jams. BeforeWrought, Broken Water’s last release was a wordless EP of two 15-minute songs, Seaside & Sedmikrasky, with string arrangements by Lori Goldston of Earth.
It is appropriate, then, that Broken Water’s string of three LPs and two EPs have slipped between explicitly radical and introspective. And that Wrought opens with questions rather than answers. “Am I right or am I wrong? All I know is I do not know,” goes the beginning of “High-Lo”. It’s a simple but poignant sentiment, tapping into the tension that comes from a life spent deliberating values and questioning everything. “Scapegoats for the police state over petty theft/ Yet we trust the dollar bill and uniforms with guns?” she asks on “Love and Poverty”.
Wrought searches for beauty in monotony and interrogates everyday oppressions, often in the same track. “1984” is a sprawling meditation on surveillance culture, where Pooknyw sings atop layers of slow-moving guitars about the NSA’s collect-it-all program of location-based metadata and turns it into something more poetic. “Are you aware you are observed?” she sings, her voice cool and even, almost drab. Other punk bands might pry open these ideas with palpable urgency, but Broken Water capture a central sadness and a numbness, tapping into the surreality of the surveillance state.
“Close” is Pooknyw’s take on a soul-crushing service industry job, with images of broken glass, mopping the floor, counting the till, locking the door. At the end of the night she tells herself over tired-sounding, behind-the-beat drums: “More… need something more… than my wages garnished for a war.” On the page, Pooknyw’s punk poetry outlines a relatable, simple-enough narrative, but its wise and weathered feeling is made palpable in her deadpan vocal inflection and screeching walls of guitar noise. Broken Water’s strength is in this multi-layered approach; they seem to understand intuitively how to underline and deepen their words with their playing, giving Wrought an almost-cinematic feel. It seems fitting that Pooknyw is also a filmmaker.
The album finishes with “Beach”, one of their lengthy stretches of meandering guitars, wordless vocals, and looming cello from Lori Goldston. This one clocks in at 12 minutes; it’s a testament to the fact that for all the broad strokes of politics, Broken Water are ultimately concerned with what they can evoke on an emotional level. By the time you flip the record over and start again, the same words that opened the record suddenly sound more charged, heavier, heartbreaking. “Life … oh life.” (Pitchfork)

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27 julio, 2017 Posted by | Broken Water | Deja un comentario

Broken Water: Tempest (2012)

Camisas de Franela y Dr.Martens

¿Qué sería de mi vieja camisa de franela a cuadros? Me encantaba lucirla con mis Dr. Martens compradas en Gibraltar y mi larga melena cada vez que salíamos los sábados por la noche (porque antes se salía los sábados por la noche). De repente, oyendo este Tempest (2012), del trío de Olympia Broken Water, me han dado ganas de volver a ponérmela. Lástima que ya no esté conmigo. Ni mis botas con la punta de acero. Ni mi actitud… Bueno quizás esa sí. Algo aliviada, desde luego, pero muchos rasgos de entonces no se han olvidado. Ésos estarán siempre conmigo. Y más oyendo discos como éste: Me encanta. Me encantan sus temas. Me encanta su actitud. Me encanta su sencillez instrumental. Una vuelta al Indie noventero, que me retrotrae a los mejores momentos de mi juventud. Un disco enorme, lleno de guiños a Sonic Youth, a Mudhoney, a Nirvana, a My Bloody Valentine, a Pavement… En cuanto que lo escuches te sentirás reconocido en un mar de nerviosa inquietud Noise-Gazer. Un resumen sonoro de todas las músicas que devorábamos en nuestras dobles pletinas o en nuestros primeros Cd´s.
Es curioso, ahora que Thorston Moore ha grabado un disco mucho más atemperado y alejado de lo que todo el mundo relacionamos al oír su nombre, Abby, Jon y Tanako han elaborado un disco que contiene mucho de lo mejor de aquel momento. Pero como digo muchas veces: ojo, que nadie se piense que Broken Water son un grupo rendido al revivalismo más fácil. De eso nada: el trío tiene carácter, personalidad, canciones y actitud para ser uno de los referentes del actual Noise. Gran gran disco.


“Olympia trio Broken Water has been swimming under choppy waters. Through a smattering of limited vinyl releases, the band has accumulated a small following and superfluous press clippings christening them as the next wave.
Tempest ushers it in with a maelstrom of tidal influence. Broken Water does not shy away from their no wave and shoegaze influences, creating a batch of songs saturated with recognizable cornerstones but no less inventive. There are few bands cranking out fuzz and sludge with the force and frequency of Jon, Kanako and Abby.
They have learned well in Olympia, distilling the Pacific Northwest’s two decades of musical relevance into a weather pattern as destructive and unpredictable as their album’s namesake. Tempest swells and bows with heaviness. There’s no mistaking Jon’s likeness to Thurston Moore when he grips the mic on “Underground” and “Coming Down,” both leaning toward Sonic Youth’s aggressive beginnings. The viscous mud and torrential drizzle of Washington adds a layer of skuzz that dries into a crust when the summer sun of “Some Thread to Connect” wakes and bakes Tempest to a heady crisp.
“Some Thread to Connect” and its ilk (“Yanka Dyagileva,” “River Under the River,” lead single “Drown”) are the backbone of Tempest. Though worthy comparisons to the past help place Broken Water’s sound, it doesn’t date it. “River Under the River” fashions quiet-loud in loud-louder at a leisurely pace. “Yanka Dyagileva” is melodious noise. The bridge a graveled rattling off garbled profanities, soothed by the bellicose sway of the verse; a ferry caught adrift in the angry Puget Sound.
“When You Said” best summarizes the splendor of Broken Water. It’s acoustic chime a lighthouse in the middle of the storm. Broken Water leaves us with one last deluge, Jon’s voice warbling in the calm before the vicious winds of the chorus sweep Tempest and its swollen barge into the Pacific.
Tempest is as weathered as it suggests. Broken Water has absorbed and funneled countless influences into their warped mien. As the first widespread gale the band’s delivered to the masses, Tempest treats old fans to a maturing band conjuring up stronger storms as it introduces the band to a new audience. The edge, the passion and the fury is still palpable. Get blown away with Tempest” (

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24 agosto, 2012 Posted by | Broken Water | 1 comentario


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