We're All Broken – Blacktop Cry EP
Record Label: Devildance
Release Date: April 21, 2009
This was a user review published several years prior to my becoming staff.
We’re All Broken is, at first glance, yet another indie punk band from New Jersey. Formed in 1999, they have toured with fellow Jersey natives Thursday and The Gaslight Anthem, as well as playing Warped Tour and SXSW. However, they have never reached any form of mainstream success despite a lot of hard work in what is still one of the nation’s most productive scenes.
In the last year, the band has added a new vocalist/guitarist, Joe Wilson, formerly of Feeling Left Out. Wilson seems to have brought new life to the band, as well as fresh hopes for wider success. Blacktop Cry, a six-song EP released in late April, showcases the band’s originality and their potential for greater success. Comparisons to '90s indie bands such as Jimmy Eat World, Texas Is the Reason, The Get Up Kids and Elliott are unavoidable. However, there are not many other bands out there right now who can accurately be compared to those bands, which, at this point in time, makes We’re All Broken seem more like a breath of fresh air than the throwback that they are.
The first song on Blacktop Cry, “The Working Life” begins the album with throbbing snare and a driving minor-key guitar riff. The next song, the title track, begins with a rousing chord progression, then cools into a verse powered by Wilson’s impassioned vocals over noodling guitars before escalating into an very catchy chorus. The following track, “Without a Sound,” also displays an extremely memorable chorus and is probably the best song on the album; it’s also the shortest. While the next song, “The Fraud,” is also quite good—showcasing Wilson’s harmonica skills as well—the last two songs are nothing particularly special.
The lyrics on Blacktop Cry are often indecipherable—in traditional old school emo style, see: Sunny Day Real Estate, old Jimmy Eat World—but when understandable, they seem to be pretty good. The production is kind of rough, but that is to be expected, and really fits the band’s style better anyway. The music, as noted, is nothing too original, but sounds really good.
Blacktop Cry’s six songs are just a small taste of what We’re All Broken can do. I fully believe that, given a year or two, they have the potential to rise above the rest of a scene that right now is crowded with look-alikes, has-beens, nothing-specials, and a very few really good bands.
I'm not as familiar with their older stuff...apparently they used to be kind of post-hardcore? I'd love to hear some of it though...
If you'd ask a year ago I could have helped, but my mediafire accounts been corrupted. Personally I don't like it much, the singer lacks control...he kind of all over the place. Singing, screaming, yelling, soft, hard...even does the frog in the throat thing. Musically its better than blacktop, but dated. Sounds similiar in style to thursday back in the early 2000's before they started sucking...I guess people call that 'post-hardcore', but i'm awful with generic labels.
If you can find it Campaign Moving Slow is worth a listen, but I wouldn't waste alot of effort.
Thanks man...yeah I might give it a listen if I can find it. Full Collapse is one of my favorite albums of all time...but most bands that try to imitate that style butcher it terribly. And yeah, Thursday is considered "post-hardcore."