Venue: ICA Support Bands: Broken Records Date: 09/06/09 For a band caked in hype by many slices of the music press, Broken Records seem perfectly at ease in themselves on the basis of tonight’s sonic sweetness. Dubbed as the ‘Scottish Arcade Fire’ by far too many lazy journalists, the septet do have the volume of musicians and eclectic range of instruments on offer as akin to the Canadian masterpiece (a violin, cello, accordion etc), but there most similarities end. The adulation is still clear to see, Edinburgh’s finest produce some symphonic soaring gems, feeling all the more delightful when seen face to face. The vocals. Just… those treacle-sweet vocals. Enough to induce diabetes. Currently it seems, as much of a cliché as it is, that Scottish vocals are becoming as synonymous with beauty as mainline train stations are with the smell of Cornish Pasties; Jamie Sutherland’s voice here being no exception here. Though a recent review went too far by describing them as “A fisherman touched by an angel”. Oh, Fuck Off. Anywhat, enough larynx talk. A simple ying/yang of styles is combined clinically; a gypsy punk brain is spliced with a more precise, delightfully melodic heart. Theirs is a conscience capable of tender, haunting moments, but also veering towards early Modest Mouse in terms of sea-shanty rawness. If The News Makes You Sad Then Don’t Watch It would sum up this ethos, with Slow Parade firmly encapsulating the ‘Tender’ side. Sutherland remains good company between songs throughout, wryly commenting on a manner of things, including self- deprecating his claw-like keyboard skills “a master-class”. For the encore BR, serve up a cover, Venus in Furs by Lou Reed, a dark, misanthropic beast of a track – a side they could perhaps explore further. The venue in the ICA perhaps doesn’t quite suit Broken Records – slightly bland, slightly uptight – it would be interesting to see them in a grimier, dirtier venue. So while enjoyable and of high quality, there is a slight something missing if being picky. Still, if tonight’s show is indicative of new album Until the Earth Begins to Part, released last week, go get it. Adulation is normally there for a reason. MP3: Broken Records - If The News Makes You Sad Then Don’t Watch It