Hailing from Brighton, Broker are a prickly combination of hardcore grit and math-rock bamboozlement. Despite sounding like a fairly tricky proposition on paper, the band have toured with the likes of Future Of The Left and even Royal Blood, and are now poised to release their second album, ‘Quixota’.
Opening with the album’s first single, ’Talk’ acts as a pretty solid indicator of this record’s scope. Packed with dissonant noise, jagged riffing and just a dash of melody, it’s actually one of the more immediately catchy tracks here.
With ’Eau De Vie’ and the album’s title track following in a similar vein, it becomes clear that Broker wish to challenge the listener at every turn. Almost completely devoid of traditional structure, ‘Quixota’’s frequent linearity forces its audience to knuckle down and pay attention to reap any kind of reward.
This is particularly prevalent in fifth track Yoghurt: with only two distinguishable component parts in it’s three minutes, Broker manage to project feelings of both calm and frustration by allowing the main riff to present itself under a number of different guises before a fast and loose finale.
This perpetual evolution makes for an uneasy and claustrophobic listen, and while this will no doubt be a point of delight for some, the variety of moods per track may prove daunting for more casual listeners. As a counterpoint to this, Broker’s penchant for the progressive on penultimate track ’Miller’ gives each element more time to breathe and grow, allowing for a more palatable, but no less effective, crescendo.
With little in the way of effects, editing or any other kind of studio trickery, the sheer rawness present on ‘Quixota’ can be overwhelming, but for those who revel in musical discomfort, this record should not be ignored.
‘Quixota’ by Broker is released on October 21st on Smalltown America
Words by Josh Graham (@jollyboyjosh_)