For over two years now, whenever I have been asked to comment on what Los Angeles band most succinctly sums up the sights, sounds, and experiences of my own, personal, L.A., it has been, and remains, the music of The Broken West. For those steeped in an appreciation of The Byrds, The Beach Boys, and The Band, this 21st century take on West coast rock & roll feels timeless.
The Broken West write and perform a star-crossed musical hybrid that deftly balances the power-pop smarts of Big Star with the atmospheric canyon rock so closely associated with the golden coast’s early ‘70s hey-day. Formerly known as The Brokedown, the band formed in 2004, anchored by the songwriting team of Ross Flournoy (guitar, vocals) and Dan Iead (guitar, backing vocals). Accompanied on drums and bass by Rob McCorkindale and Brian Whelan, respectively, the band began gigging around L.A.’s Eastside clubs, beginning work on their debut EP, which would become “The Dutchman’s Gold.”
A seven song affair, “The Dutchmans Gold,” upon its release, established the band as the indie heirs apparent to the “three B bands” mentioned above, sparking my 2005 assessment: “We are somewhere in the hills and canyons that make up Los Angeles. That much is true. The lonesome harmonies, light organ fills and pedal-steel accompaniment remind us so. But make no mistake, this is clear Pop territory and in the best sense of the word, where Pop is defined by A.C. Newman, Britt Daniels and the like.”
This exploration of power-pop became fully realized on the band’s debut full-length, the Merge Records released, “I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On.” Building on the bones of “The Dutchman’s Gold,” The Broken West infused the spirit of peak-era Kinks with the spiritual guidance of Big Star’s “O My Soul,” culminating in one of the best LPs of 2007.
Having now toured the country, various times, with such contemporaries as The Long Winters, The National, and The Walkmen, The Broken West are presently at work on their next, as of yet unnamed, album here in Los Angeles, before heading out in October for an East coast tour. Catch them if you can…
900 Red River, St. Austin, TX, Wednesday, October 10th, 8PM, 512.457.0900
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