Many of us remember the day that our clammy little hands gripped a copy of Smells Like Teen Spirit. Memories of thudding drums and howling rage are easily recalled with fondness. And then the thought sometimes drift through the cerebral cortex: would I still enjoy grunge if I heard it? The answer, for myself at least, is yes.

With the help of Sub Pop imprint label Hardly Art, Olympia, WA's melancholic grunge-pop trio Broken Water has offered what sounds like one massive ode to Sonic Youth. The band has steadily been converting fans since 2008 with songs that are sometimes cloud-covered sonic dreariness and other times searing noise – of which the finest of combinations appear on their most recent effort Tempest. While the majority of songs impose an obvious neo-grunge sound, elements of shoegaze, drone and punk linger amongst watery guitar lines and thin, sparse drums. Smartly, the interplay between female and male vocals provides needed variety, as the band remains very consistent in their songwriting, offering little outside of their chosen sound.

This is by far the band's strongest material to date and worthy of repeated listens. Recommended for those who came out of the womb adorned in plaid or those simply lusting for a noise-grunge reimagining.

Aaron Scholz



Record Details

Released: 2012
Record Label: Hardly Art

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