Broadcast - Pendulum

I first became aware of Broadcast when the band supported Gorky's Zygotic Mynci at the Hop And Grape in Manchester in 1996. Even then I could see the promise and potential the band had and still we had to wait a good four years before Broadcast released their fully fledged debut album "The Noise Made By People" which was a critical success. Despite universal acclaim from the press, Broadcast haven't been as commercially as they deserve. Their new album "Haha's Sound" isn't due to be released until August, but until then Broadcast have wetted our appetites with a six track EP "Pendulum" which was recorded at their home studio in Birmingham.

Title track "Pendulum" has a live, almost organic immediate sound. Trish Keenan's ethereal voice is as hypnotic and alluring in equal measures. The frantic drumming of Neil Bullock with the lush melodic guitar work from Tim Falton is held together beautifully by bassist James Cargill. This is slightly rockier than usual, but isn't too far removed from the Broadcast blueprint. Trish's vocal put me in mind of Julee Cruise on the mesmerizing "Small Song IV". This recording is very minimalist and certainly a tune that creeps up on you.

"Still Feels Like Tears" is an arresting slice of electrodelic, a mix of electronica and psychedelia, a meeting of past sounds with futuristic layers which belong to the 21st Century, kind mind blowing and trancey. I'm all for experimentation, ground breaking ideas and pushing back the boundaries but to be brutally honest "Minus Two" the closing song is an unlistenable mess. On paper a collaboration with a Birmingham electro acoustic sound theatre from Birmingham University must have seemed like a good idea and a brave undertaking. There are some interesting ideas like church hall beats with cut ups and snatches of the upcoming LP, but the end result is a pretentious self indulgent dirge and is a disappointing finish to an otherwise eclectic and varies EP. Broadcast fans will also be delighted to hear that the band play a short tour in May. Catch them while you can, their even better live.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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