Broken Field Runner: BROKEN EP (Jetsam-Flotsam) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, July 8th, 2020  

Broken Field Runner

BROKEN EP

Jetsam-Flotsam

May 06, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Broken Field Runner are an LA based group. Their 2019 record Lay My Head Down explored lead songwriter Tony Bucci’s experiences moving to LA from Upstate New York. While comparisons to emo revivalist stalwarts like Touché Amoré or The World Is a Beautiful Place & I’m No Longer Afraid to Die were apt on that record, the band’s latest EP, BROKEN, explores a different set of sounds, but in language that is no less evocative than their previous album. 

Musically, this EP takes greater cues from synthwave, driven by pulsing and dark synth timbres. The first track, “MOUTHS,” immediately sets the tone for the EP with a moody instrumental and lyrics that reflect upon avarice and uncontrolled consumption. Despite the subject matter, the song also maintains a pop core that gives it one of the strongest hooks on the record. It comes off as a more sinister and anxious take on Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own.” That pop sensibility also carries over into the following song, “511s/501s” with its catchy piano hook. Also enjoyable is the album’s closer, a cover of k.d. lang’s “Constant Craving,” which maintains the longing core of the song while adding some textural and aesthetic variances that make it fit well with the rest of the tracks here.

The EP’s weakest moment is the penultimate track, “eTERNAL moNOLOGUE.” The thick and weighty instrumental approach is appealing, as is the groove on the outro. However, the vocals seem buried and the song has one of the weaker melodies on the EP. The obtuse lyrics on this track clash as well with the voicemail messages and Greta Thunberg audio that plays at different points in the track. 

BROKEN does go across some exciting territory for a band that mostly worked within the field of indie rock and emo to this point. Tracks like “MOUTHS” show strong songwriting instincts and an ear for packaging memorable melodies in somber lyrics. This EP is only one of three planned for this year from the band, although current events may change that timeline. Each is meant to explore different facets of the band’s sound so it will be interesting to hear the other paths the band goes down in their upcoming work. (www.brokenfieldrunner.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10



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