When the Wright Brothers completed the first powered flight, they must have been aware that they were changing the world. It wasn’t just flight that they revolutionised, but design and art.
We’ve recently, this past weekend in fact, had one of the last flights of the last airworthy AVRO Vulcan, which pioneered delta winged planes. But it is a beautiful piece of art too. And it is art of which I speak here.
Broken Hands have just released their first album Turbulence. Eleven songs that reach past the goal of the Wright’s right out into space.
Flight is the theme of the album, and we’re powered straight into the stratosphere with Spectrum. There’s a sample of a countdown layered over a feedback loop, which then leads into a thumping drum beat full of the tension and nerves of a Boeing taxiing down the runway.
Up next is Meteor, a frenetic excursion into space. Fuzzy and insistent, the ride you take is exhilarating. It’s also the first time that Dale Norton’s powerful vocals come to the fore, rising above the sounds created by Jamie Darby, Thomas Darby, Callum Norton and David Hardstone.
The themes of aviation and space are as all pervasive as the dark and fuzziness of the guitars. They come together in stunning fashion on the other two singles off the album – Death Grip and Who Sent You.
Other highlights of the album include the anthemic Impact – very worthy of cigarette lighters being waved in the air, so long as no planes mistake them for landing lights – 747, and the album closer W.T.L.L.
At nearly six-and-a-half minutes long it is comfortably the longest track on the album, and also comfortably the most out of this world, and science fictiony to boot. See if you catch what I catch (aliens, dead earth, experiments).
All in all, its as strong a debut as I have heard in a long time. Vocally and musically Canterbury has a lot to be proud of. Buy it, be impressed with their craftsmanship, intelligence, and imagination. I know I am.
Turbulence by Broken Hands is out now on their website, and your usual batch of retailers.