One of the happiest accidents of the last couple of years is that The Broken Family Band have started to finally turn heads, hearts and minds onto their inimitable forays through what is ostensibly a sorta country-car-crash of some force.
Happy too, then, that their third album, Balls, has already seen the radio crawl all over them. About time, because not many people have such a hotline to drunken, drugged-up, dark tales of disorder as cartoon-penguin-loving songwriter Steve Adams can boast. Check out the opening lines of lonely, isolated acoustic/alt.rock opener 'You’re Like A Woman' for an internal monologue more resonant than any number of emo-swines could hope to even fucking read about. And as the track progresses and the alt-chug geetarin’ hammers in, there’s a joy to the throwing off of expectation and stress in favour of the excitement of the night. _"How do you think you’re gonna get me home" he bawls, "you ain’t got any cigarettes". Nuff said.
Elsewhere, the Nirvana-in-Nashville scrawl of 'The Booze And The Drugs' captures perfectly the confusion and matter-of-fact shrugging of another slice of time lost in the excitement of the moment, whilst the world slips by on its disastrous lurch outside the walls. 'Come On Home', by contrast, is a wistful, almost lovely tale of sexual tension that develops into desperation, and Piney Gir pops up as a guest on the classically countrified breakup/deathmatch of 'Alone In The Make-Out Room'.
The Broken Family Band have produced an album that feels like both a series of punkist vignettes and a narrative of a skewed, rusty forthrightness, all the time married to a rare sense of how to construct a series of tracks that are, essentially, pop at heart. They’re a British band with one foot in East Anglia, and the other in Tennessee; a group whose comfort with exploring the scrape-heart scraps and blows that make up what is laughingly called ‘life’ is redolent with a fizzing reality that pushes buttons both internal and in an entirely wider context. A rare feat. A rare band.
A band with Balls.