Tonight’s bill at Little Brother’s brings together two bands that in many ways are at either end of the spectrum. It’s east and west, dark and light, bliss and fury, making for a night of contrasts.
The Broken West, hailing from L.A., are the former of those dichotomies. Following opener Ferraby Lionheart, they’ll play songs from their recent full-length debut, I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On (Merge). The record is a warm gale of breezy pop that hearkens to Teenage Fanclub, Jay Bennett–era Wilco and others of that persuasion. The band breathes plenty of life into their songs, most noticeably on “Brass Ring” and “Big City,” which traverse along bouncy keyboard lines . The Broken West play with their sunnyside up, only veering lyrically at times into sadder territory.
Conversely, headliners the Walkmen have made a name for themselves with a tempestuous brew of exorcised emotions. On records like last year’s A Hundred Miles Off, the Brooklyn-based band mixed moody atmospherics with a frenzy of sparkling melodies and guitar cataclysms. Even their recent cover of Harry Nillson’s Pussy Cats, while generally a lighthearted romp, revealed their ever present brood. Live such mixed commotions make for manic thrills.
MP3: Down in the Valley by The Broken West