BROKEDOWNS, THE: Species Bender: CD

I’m a firm believer that physical and emotional pain are two of the most effective teachers. I tend to believe people who’ve had their teeth knocked out, who’ve had life kick them repeatedly in their ribs, so it hurts to laugh, cough, or cry. I’m more apt to trust people with dirty hands. You may say “workman.” I say “Pegboy.” I say, that’s who I want to hang out with, who I want to listen to. I’ve only met one member of the Brokedowns. Outside a bar. I had a concussion and my friend who was dressed as Spongebob had just been punched in the face, glasses shattered. The Brokedowns’ Species Bender feels like a beating on the chest when you’ve forgotten to breathe and are flat on your back. The rough barking comes through first, but then there are the sure, studied movements, the right amount of practiced pressure. And then comes the delicate parts. Take away the boom of the drums and the earth slicing of the guitars, and there’s this real beauty surrounding their heavy-moving quarry of sound. Precious folks may mistake The Brokedowns for knuckle draggers, but precious folks can go fuck themselves. (As an aside, I’m betting a quarter that there’s at least one huge Rocket From The Crypt fan in the band. There’s way too much Scream, Dracula Scream and Circa Now! to be a mere coincidence.) One of the best records of the year, and my favorite full length of theirs.

 –todd (Red Scare,