Get Your Rock Out – Review of ‘Disasters: Ways To Leave a Scene’ – 14/11/2012

Despite the intro of ‘Electrik’ sounding unfortunately like Bloc Party’s ‘Flux’, a move that could well be a purposeful sample considering the track’s heavy use of synths for backing, Broken Links set a strong precedent with this opening track that they comfortably live up to throughout their debut album, Disasters: Ways To Leave a Scene.

The album is laden with heavy bass, provided by Lewis Betteridge, and synths that characterise the industrial sound of Broken Links. This gritty foundation is overlaid with the melodic riffs of lead singer and guitarist Mark Lawrence that fuse with the new wave style vocals reminiscent of Joy Division and the Manic Street Preachers. Behind all of this is the drumming of Phil Boulter, a largely supporting role in Broken Links that consists of relatively simplistic drum beats serving to keep up the energetic pace set by the rest of the band. The atmospheric presence of the guitar, founded in the raw rhythms of the bass forms a distinct sound that is particularly impressive on the track ‘Cherno’ with a solo that is both technically impressive and evocative of the emotional strength contained within the songs on Disasters.

It is this emotion that sets Broken Links apart from other alternative groups as the Southampton three piece bring a strength of character in their music that, combined with their technical skill and musical diversity, creates a dark and powerful soundscape for the listener to immerse themselves in and that separates Broken Links from the standard fare of the alt-rock genre. The lyrical complexity of the tracks also lends itself to the unique sound the band has managed to build and is particularly prominent on the tracks ‘We’re All Paranoid’ and ‘Therapy Sessions In The Dark’. Furthermore, you get a lot of bang for your buck with the album consisting of 14 tracks, clocking in at just under an hour and the average song length being around 4 and a half minutes. Round this off with the 8 minute epic finale that is ‘Substitute Yourself’ and you have a very strong debut from a unique alt-rock group who have a bucketload of talent and an innovative feel to how they’re making their music. Overall, Disasters is well worth a listen.”

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