Since they appeared last year, Broken Shoulder have been very busy, with split EP’s and charity compilations and radio sessions going on. This cheers me immensely because as much as I love the band (it’s just one person) it’s not making any overt attempts to attract anyone, in fact if you look at the topography of Broken Shoulder’s career to date it appears to be an attempt to repel as many listeners as possible.
Instrumental, lo-fi, experimental and now tape bound. That’s right this is a tape release (if we have any readers under twenty five years old a tape was like a plastic house for audio string) just to compound the non-commercial appeal of the whole escapade. “Oak and Mirrors” was from a session that Debnam recorded for Dandelion radio. It’s 20 minutes long and it’s a bit like watching a kitten attempt to stay awake when it separately needs a nap. Fuzzy warm shapes drift so slowly in and out of your ears that it’s quite hard to register when things have changed. Atonal and dissonant guitar drones buzz like lawnmowers and gentle elastic bass lines boing round like refracted light. A more peaceful 20 minutes I don’t think you can ask for. Love it.
Side B is comprised of three “songs” although it seems odd using the same nomenclature for the bleached out chord of “Other Tropisms” as it does for the violent, noisy ejections of tainted faeces that hotly spurt from people’s mobile phones, cars and shops (which they also consider “songs”). If you’re looking for a spiritual antithesis to the insanity of modern music then I can’t really recommend this tape enough. It doesn’t offer you anything solid. No answers, no hooks, melodies, beats. Nothing. It’s a blank canvas (virtually) for your mind to wander round, with only this strangely hopeful set of noises to let you know that you’re in a good place. And while you’re here politicians, the economy, Fearne Cotton and Strictly Come Dancing are rightly banished to the world of nightmares that they came from.