Playing Out Loud – Review of ‘The Fine Line Between Choice/Decay’ EP – 1st April 2010. By Paul Lane

Upon listening to their first EP “Resisting Movement & The Almost Advisory”, it was clear to that Broken Links were ambitious. The menacing brand of epic alternative rock that the EP was made up of was raw yet polished, epic but never self indulgent. This was backed up by gigs that were as much about the light shows and the band’s image as they were about the songs. Indeed Broken Links seemed hell bent on making it known that they were not intent on solely relying on playing the local circuit in the hope of getting a lucky break. Here was a band that were already bordering on being the complete package and would do all they possibly could to make that next big step.

The ambition of that first EP meant that they had instantly set their own bar particularly high, hence why the cocktail of excitement and intrigue with which “The Fine Line Between Choice/Decay” is approached is also at sky high levels.

It must be said that the fuzz bass led “Reinvent” begins in a slightly ploddy fashion before exploding into life. The chorus reveals this to be a stadium sized rock anthem that crashes through the speakers in a thoroughly abrupt and uncompromising manner. “What Are You Waiting For?” confirms what we knew already about Broken Links. These boys know how to build a song up before hitting you where it hurts with a colossal chorus. The lyrics are typically angst ridden with the riffs being clinical. This is fantastic rock music that sparks off that something within you, making you want to headbutt the nearest wall again and again and again. ALL rock music should make you want to do that!

“Shelter Your Loss” showcases the band’s gift of being able to make dark, epic, alternative rock both melancholic and uplifting at the same time. “Therapy Sessions In The Dark” is a big industrial tune which is maybe the oddest thing they have made so far. It is suitably creepy before launching into that trademark, gargantuan chorus. The marching drums and slow build up of “Choice/Decay” are followed by the EP’s climax, a brooding instrumental which has been the opener for a lot of the band’s live shows, “In Your Headlights.”

Mark Lawrence’s distinctive vocals are developing at the same rate of knots as his band’s development into a truly great band. The ambition of the EP is evident by the wide range of influences here. The 42 minutes of non-stop music would suggest that the band’s collections include the likes of Muse, Gary Numan, Nine Inch Nails, early Manic Street Preachers and Kraftwerk. Also the immensely brave step of filling the gaps between the individual tracks with eerie, synth drenched instrumentals shows that the band clearly had a great time putting the EP together. There is the feeling similar to the excitement that a small child feels when going into a sweet shop here. The trio have clearly just let go of their inhibitions completely and have let the ideas flow.

With the band currently touring Germany before the EP launch at The Joiners on 24th April, this is the beginning of the next chapter for Broken Links, the chapter that may well see them move from “promising local band” to the Next Big Thing on a national scale.”

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