Jul 24, 2008
The music of Broadcast Zero is deceptively simple.
You’ve probably heard its ilk before — melodic, three-chord punk riffs with machine-gun rat-a-tat percussion and shouted anthemic choruses — but you haven’t heard it done quite like this.
There’s more going on here than first meets the ear.
This Kitchener quartet defies the limitations of their genre, churning out powerful punk that is catchier, smarter and more mature than it has any right to be.
Their first album, Yesterday You Could Change the World (hot off the presses last week from Hamilton indie label Rebel Time Records) is as self-assured a debut as you’re likely to hear in any genre.
The fact that the genre is punk, a field saturated with lacklustre copycats and guitar-bashing hacks, makes Broadcast Zero’s achievement doubly wowing.
It’s tricky to put a finger on what, exactly, sets the album apart from its peers, since at first blush it sounds so faithful to the three-chord angsty archetype.
It certainly helps that the production values on Yesterday You Could Change the World are a cut above the typical indie release, capturing both the raw intensity and the intricacies of the songs.
It also helps that the members of Broadcast Zero have put some serious thought into the lyrical themes on the album (most notably on the track Same Old Story, a brutally honest assessment of growing up and losing youthful idealism).
In interviews, the guys of Broadcast Zero are prone to philosophizing about deconstructionism, social activism and the dangers of moral relativism.
With 14 songs unfolding in 27 minutes, the album is packed with a lot of words, most of which are rallying cries for social justice, courage and integrity.
Then again, there are also several refreshingly dunderheaded anthems designed to make people mosh — such as the “love” song Velvet Doll, the lyrics of which are awesomely, unpublishably vulgar.
Punk fans will gleefully pump their fists to this record. What’s more impressive, though, is that Yesterday You Could Change The World might just bring some new converts to the genre.
Are you in a local band with a new CD release? To have it considered for a review, please drop it off at The Record’s reception to the attention of Colin Hunter, or mail it to his attention c/o The Record, 160 King St. E., Kitchener, Ontario, N2G 4E5.