10 years is a long time for a band to be in existence but in the case of Broken Hands, you can hear that every minute of that time has been used to consider and craft their debut album ’Turbulence’. The short overview is that ‘Turbulence’ sounds like Stephen Brodsky fronting a thinking man’s Queens Of The Stone Age. The longer description is far more elaborate.
Frontman Dale Norton is clearly a deeply contemplative chap and that’s something that shines through across the entire album. Where songs feel like they should soar, they’re held back with deliberation and intent that, in most cases, serves to create a tingling fizz of tension. Sure, at times the band sail very close to the line marked self-indulgent but they never jump across it 2 footed and even the irksome parts of the record are salvaged by sterling songwriting ability.
Even at the point where Broken Hands step away from the shackles of method and construct, as they do on the gloriously low-slung ‘Four’, they do so with every bit as much wide-eyed focus as they do on the edgier moments of the record such as the tantalisingly restrained soul-pop of ‘Impact’.
You’ll need patience and an open mind to truly get the most from ‘Turbulence’, but if you’re willing to let it seduce you then you’ll find plenty to smile about here.
’Turbulence’ by Broken Hands is out now on So Recordings.
Words by Rob Fearnley.