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Album Review: Quixota by Broker

Brighton based hardcore/math trio Broker released their second album Quixota via Smalltown America Record on 21st October. Despite comparisons drawn thus far to Slint, Botch, Mars Volta and Cardiacs, Broker’s sound defies easy categorisation. Heavy enough for the metallers and fiery enough for the punks – the band draws its musical inspiration from the passion and fury of hardcore and the fluidity and experimentation of prog and math.

It’s that flexibility that makes Quixota such a compelling listen. It’s an album that appeal in different ways depending on your mood. One day you’ll fall in love with the melancholic nuances of ‘Miller’ while on others you’ll find solace in the chaotically disjointed ‘The Grass Is Always Greener In Kreuzberg’. The former is a standout track – ambitious and epic coming in at over 7 minutes it explores intricate and atmospheric landscapes that come out emotive and captivating. A completely different beast, the latter takes on a sound similar to other Smalltown America acts – USA Nails and Blacklisters – revelling in an abrasive and chaotic assault of riffs and changing structure.

Overall Quixota is a formidable record. From the blistering riffs and off-kilter beats of opener ‘Talk’ through to the more melodic moments of ‘Torso, The Idol’ you’ll find this to be a pleasurable challenger. ‘Eau De Vie’ layers some infectious riffs above a discordant backdrop. The mix works wonderfully, drawing you in and challenging you with each change in direction. Title track ‘Quixota’ is the perfect reference point for Broker’s sound. Combining the abrasive with heavy riffs whilst transforming into an intricate and expansive track it covers the full spectrum of the band’s sound.

Get lost in the chaos of ‘Yoghurt’ and let the riffs of ‘What The Contestant Don’t Know’ wash over you in their distinctively maddening way and you’ll come to love Quixota. You’d be a fool to think that it’ll be an easy ride, on first listen you might be slightly put off by just how abrasive it can be but revisit it, stick with it and it will become your new best friend. This is an intriguing album that will speak to you in different ways on each listen, whether it be losing yourself or finding solace in the bedlam Broker have pulled it out of the bag here. A phenomenal album.

AD Rating 8/10

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