Broken Looking Glass - Shards Of Sea EP
Shards Of Sea is a record stuck in the middle: it’s got everything it needs – emotionally-riddled lyrics, a penchant for exploration of sound, potential for some real jams – but at the same time it needs refining.
Originality7
Lyrics8.5
Replay Value8.5
Instrumentation8.5
Impact8
8.1Overall Score
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Nostalgia. Forgotten times. Trips down memory lane. Countless bands and artists are hopping on the metaphorical bandwagon and breaking down the barriers between past and present. Somewhere in time the lines got blurred and now the new bands popping up every day are painting musical canvases not unlike those of days gone by.

West Midlands quartet Broken Looking Glass are no exception; their pick-n-mix palate of mid-noughties indie rock, early-nineties grunge, emo, and all-over lo-fi progressiveness harking back to all sorts of golden eras. They’ve been kicking around their scene for a while, however Shards Of Sea is their debut EP.

Shards Of Sea is the sonic sounds of a band still dipping their toes in the water, paddling through the pool rather than swimming in the ocean. Simply put, they’re not quite sure just how they’d like to sound – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, after a single playthrough of Shards Of Sea’s four tracks and fifteen minutes, you’ll find yourself wondering if you were listening to the same band. Opener Enemy Of My Enemy rolls with the rocking bravado of a punk-infused nineties grunge band drunk in the noughties indie-rock scene, sounding all too much like The Enemy if they were less satirical and more bombast whilst closer Falling Apart is a shimmering lo-fi explosion reminiscent of A Perfect Circle and The Smashing Pumpkins.

It’s testament to the vocal range of vocalist and guitarist Damon Springthorpe that his voice suits whatever tempo the songs take them; whether it’s punk-n-roll or progressive lo-fi, he’s got it covered. Musically, there are moments where you wonder if Broken Looking Glass are slipping into instrumental-only territory, the latter half of the record providing a landscape in which jangling guitars shimmer across minimalistic albeit progressive territories, interrupting only for Damon’s emo-tinged lyrics to wrap around your mind, hovering underneath the vocals in the mix, particularly on single The Way Things Are Going.

Shards Of Sea is a record stuck in the middle: it’s got everything it needs – emotionally-riddled lyrics, a penchant for exploration of sound, potential for some real jams – but at the same time it needs refining. Broken Looking Glass need only strip Shards Of Sea apart to find the sound they truly desire, and once they’ve discovered it, begin to hone in on it and nurture it. For a debut though, this is an admirable effort.

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