Broken Spindles - Inside/Absent

Broken Spindles

(Saddle Creek)

First Appeared in The Music Box, August 2005, Volume 12, #8

Written by T.J. Simon


On Broken Spindlesí third release Inside/Absent, Joel Peterson presents 10 minimalist, techno-rock tunes that he created on his laptop during his downtime on The Faintís 2004 tour. He reportedly did not share the results of the album with anyone until it was completed, and the resulting recordings show him to be a talented composer and lyricist in need of more time and input to develop his ideas into fully-realized songs.

Indeed, Inside/Absent is stuffed with half-baked musical concepts in need of further incubation. For instance, the opening track Inward is pleasant and unassuming, but although the piano tinkling sounds nice, it clearly is not ready for the marketplace. With its techno-laced ambience, Please Remember This recalls a rough demo tape from Nine Inch Nails, and Birthday is an under-produced but otherwise decent selection in the spirit of Depeche Mode. In fact, the closest thing on the effort to a composition in full bloom is The Distance Is Nearsighted, which showcases a cool groove as well as vocals that are reminiscent of U2ís Numb.

In other words, thereís a fine line between lo-fi experimentation and messing with some laptop recording software, and unfortunately, Broken Spindles repeatedly falls on the wrong side of it throughout Inside/Absent. Although Peterson showcases some good ideas and quality song fragments, his attempt to record this album in solitary confinement can be viewed only as a disappointing failure. starstar

Inside/Absent is available
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2005 The Music Box