13 March 2010

Broken Bells: "Broken Bells"

Someone who I have known for close to four years (we shall call him Scarecrow, which come to think about it would be a great Halloween costume for him – hint!) volunteered to write up a review – actually has volunteered to give up some of his time to write for SlowdiveMusic Blog. So, with that said, I would like to thank him and welcome him aboard and give you his first review.

Broken Bells is an indie rock band, which is the brainchild of Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) and The Shins’ vocalist James Mercer. I came across the band when clicking through the pages of the Toro Magazine website, where the album is streaming in its entirety (link). Throughout the past few years, I have been introducing myself to indie rock, though I grew up on a steady diet of pop, rap, and mainstream radio. But it is albums like Broken Bells’ self-titled debut (9 March 2010) that really is opening the door to a new world of music for me and opening my ears more to different sounds, and I hope it does it for you as well.

“Broken Bells” opens with “High Road,” which itself has a flow that feels mostly cool and serene. Upon hearing the song from the start to the finish it vaguely reminded me of an old song from Hall and Oates called “Out of Touch,” just from the sound of the guitar and the background sounds added to the feeling of the song. Then there is the track “Your Head is On Fire”; it shows how they concentrate on the feeling of the beat and the sound rather than concentrating on the lyrics themselves. They keep the same cool feeling to draw you in and listen and keep some type of suspense when the song suddenly stops, and then starts again to fade out into the next song. Even while it’s mellow and cool in feeling, it stays upbeat and calm at the same time, which has the effect of relaxing you but at the same time uplift and bring you up.

Many instruments are used in the back and foreground, mixing intricately with the beat, mixing well within the songs to show the bands diversity and strength in different forms of arrangements. In the song “Sailing to Nowhere” you can hear a harbor and a piano playing along with a guitar at the same time. With that they use a sudden sense of environment in their songs to visualize the scenery and let the listener into a cooler more relaxed calm from the upbeat side of the album.

For starters, follow that link above and listen to the album, then head over to Amazon or iTunes and support the band if the album hooked you as much as it did me. “Broken Bells” may not be that guitar ripping, indie rock brand that most people expect from indie bands, but what Broken Bells the band produced here is a relaxing, engaging album that may just open up more doors to a new word of music as it has done for me.

Track Listing:
1. The High Road
2. Vaporize
3. Your Head Is on Fire
4. The Ghost Inside
5. Sailing to Nowhere
6. Trap Doors
7. Citizen
8. October
9. Mongrel Heart
10. The Mall and Misery

Keep up with Broken Bells at their homepage, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.

Here is their video for “The High Road” from the brokenbellsVEVO YouTube Channel.


  1. Yo there's a cool Broken Bells promotion going on in alliance with Record Store day this year. You could win a rip to see them live, also they have a sick Bonus Deluxe Pack coming out. Check it http://recordstoreday.com/Contest/337

  2. i just entered for the flyaway trip, that'd be awesome. this album is so good! i love them

  3. I'm not into Indie bands, but they are simply amazing! The song, "The High Road" is pretty addictive. I want to hear more stuff by them =]