Punknews.org
The Broadways - Broken Star (Cover Artwork)

The Broadways

The Broadways: Broken StarBroken Star (1998)
Asian Man Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: KenjaminKenjamin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

First things first, this band has three singers and none of them can sing all too well (save perhaps for the drummer), and none of them are very proficient with their instruments either. But I'll be hard-pressed to find a band that could write socially-conscious melodic punk songs as great as the Ch.
iTunes StoreAmazon


First things first, this band has three singers and none of them can sing all too well (save perhaps for the drummer), and none of them are very proficient with their instruments either. But I'll be hard-pressed to find a band that could write socially-conscious melodic punk songs as great as the Chicago four-piece The Broadways. Scott wrote a review of their second disc Broken Van that goes in-depth about the spiderweb of bands these guys have been involved with so I won't go into that. The Broadways's sloppy and aggressive pop-punk sound is nothing new. It's been done a million times before, but what sets this band apart is the acerbic wit of the lyrics. The band lambastes social problems ranging from Native American rights to innercity schools with ease and finesse. Almost every song on this record has one moment where all the instruments and vocals come together and everything simply clicks.

The record begins with the upbeat opener "15 Minutes," which is a plea to stop commercialization with Dan asking, "I wonder if my kids will ever see a horizon untouched by billboards and shopping malls and I wonder if this crazy world thinks I'm the one who's crazy? What if I'm the one who's crazy? I'm not crazy, just frustrated!" Tempo wise, the album never really lets up. Pardon me, but I have a little bit of trouble discerning between the songs that Chris and Dan sing as Chris's vocals aren't as smooth as the later Lawrence Arms records. However, Brendan sings about half of the songs with one duet with Dan and one duet with Chris. One of the best parts of the album is the vocal interplay between the three guitar players. There are harmonies and backup parts everywhere, best exemplified on "Fuck You Larry Koesche‚?¶" and "Jonathon Kozal Was Right." Amid all the songs about police brutality and government control and being self-sufficient, there is one love song, "Red Line," thrown in by Brendan. The song is alright but doesn't fit in with the rest of the politically-minded songs.

Rob DePaola needs to be commended for his drumming here. His fills are tight and he does some awesome things with the subtle ride cymbal while pushing this band. Brendan does some fairly intricate fills amidst the mostly palm muted guitars. Despite the rather simple octave leads, there are several catchy and impressive lead guitar parts. There's nothing extraordinary musically but the band manages to accompany the melodic yet stinging vocals well and keep a driving tempo. Lots of the songs have the Jawbreaker-ish instrumental outros as well, which I am rather fond of.

One drawback with the record is the recording quality. Matt Allison has done some great recording jobs, whether it's the rawness of the early Alkaline Trio records or the newer and glossy Lawrence Arms records but this one isn't one of them. The cymbals and hi-hat are way too high in the mix. Listen to "Jonathon Kozal Was Right" to hear what I mean. Also, the bass occasionally gets lost in the mix only to come back in loud and distorted. These are minor complaints as the vocals are loud and clear and shine through over the noise. The liner notes are extensive with nice artwork and all of the lyrics.

There's not enough here creativity-wise to warrant a perfect rating but this is a very rewarding listen that covers many social and political aspects in a very witty and exciting manner.

MP3 - 15 Minutes

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Alkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldThe Lawrence Arms - Apathy and ExhaustionAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseAlkaline Trio - Maybe I'll Catch FireThe Lawrence Arms - Cocktails And DreamsJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyDillinger Four - Midwestern Songs of the AmericasOperation Ivy - Operation Ivy

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
arejaypunx (November 1, 2010)

a rewarding and always refreshing album that is all about passion and being a pissed off young dude cursed with a brain, a conscience and no material possessions to change things. I love it. one of my alltime favourite albums.

TheGuwumpkis (October 8, 2008)

when i first heard the Broadways, i absolutely hated them. it took a camping trip to VT, with a ton of beer and and mother nature to convince me that this is one of the best fucking records i have ever listened to.

elephantdwarf (September 30, 2008)

wow... 10 years of listening to this record pretty much at least once a week if not more. it still sounds as good as it did 10 years ago.

eon (January 28, 2008)

came across this cd back in 99 and have listened to it at least 2 times a week since then.
This cd is faaaantastic.
to bad they broke up.

branden (October 27, 2007)

this album is not that good.

bloofy (October 22, 2006)

Score is for Lake Erie.

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

i bought this album back in '99 when i was listening to basically less than jake and nothing else-- heard 15 Minutes on the mailorder is fun! comp, promptly bought it.

long story short, i haven't listened one LTJ record in like 3 years and this album has not left my 10-disk changer since i got it.

as a person with constantly fickle tastes in music, i can honestly say this album has never got old and is still as good as i ever remembered it being

fifteen (February 13, 2005)

i bought this album after hearing "15 minutes" on an asian man records comp. and now this is one of my all time favorite records

Anonymous (January 30, 2005)

ive been listening to this cd for about 6 years and its still amazing

Anonymous (December 25, 2004)

The Lawrence Arms are my favorite bands, and as a huge TLA fan, I absolutely love the Broadways too. Pick this album up.

Perfect 5

-CorpseOfMyMotivation

Anonymous (December 20, 2004)

Did anyone ever notice that the NOFX song "Quart in Session" and "Franco-Unamerican" sound EXACTLY THE SAME! even with the stupid lil breakdown at the end.

Anonymous (December 20, 2004)

here in montreal broaways and others band like tla the honor system gets a lot of appreciation too

one of the best punk album, i dont care about the song quality that much its cheap its punk thats great

Anonymous (December 19, 2004)

Agredd the Early Summer EP/7" was awesome, but Free Wheelin was kinda week.

Anonymous (December 19, 2004)

I completely agree that there is way too much pitch correction on Single File. If you can, get your hands on the first Honor System 4-song tape. I was very excited about that band when I got that tape and just as disapointed when I got Single File. Same with Tuesday. GREAT tape but the album didn't live up to the potential. Both of those albums are good albums, but they had the potential to be incredible albums. I almost never listen to those albums now but I still listen to those first tapes.

Anonymous (December 19, 2004)

This just continues to prove that the members of Slapstick found magic when they played together. There has never been a band who's members have gone on to form or play in so many other infuential bands. It doesn't seem like anyone outside of Chicago appreciates this fact.
---------------------------------------------------------

Very true, but attribute this to cocky east coasters who cream their pants when the words kid dynamite are ushered out, but refuse to even listen to bands like the Broadways or Slapstick.

Crookedsuperhero (December 19, 2004)

It doesn't seem like anyone outside of Chicago appreciates this fact.

I live in the UK and love everyone of the Slapstick family of bands.

Anonymous (December 18, 2004)

This just continues to prove that the members of Slapstick found magic when they played together. There has never been a band who's members have gone on to form or play in so many other infuential bands. It doesn't seem like anyone outside of Chicago appreciates this fact.

Anonymous (December 17, 2004)

Ben Weasel had an editorial a few years back about bands starting to suck when they stopped writing songs about "I" and started writing them about "you." Virtually every single one of the Honor System's tunes is about "you."

Crookedsuperhero (December 17, 2004)

The Honor System have been on hiatus for a long time, so not much touring has taken place. By the by again, Dans voice sounds great, not because of pro-tools, but because he looks like he learned to sing.

hubitcherkokov (December 17, 2004)

"Single File" never did anything for me. Dan's vocals sounded like he had recorded them shortly after a lobotomy. Not only does he sound uninspired, but they Pro-Tooled his voice SO MUCH! Can a robot get a lobotomy? Because that's what it sounds like to me. The lyrics are really good, for example, "The biggest criminals in town can be spotted fairly quick/They like to dress in dark blue suits and carry nightsticks" is one of my favorites off the top of my head. Also, as far as I know The Honor System rarely ever tours. Since their inception, I think they've played Cleveland once, which, granted, is a tough shell to crack for a new band (as is most of the midwest), but if they want to garner more attention they have to tour incessantly. I wonder what they would be like if Tim from Rise Against had stayed? Cheers!

Crookedsuperhero (December 17, 2004)

The Honor System are lazy. Two albums and an EP? More.

By the by, in terms of skill and songwriting ability, The Honor System are just as good as TLA, if not better.

Anonymous (December 17, 2004)

the reason why brendan succeeded and dan didn‚??t, is cause dan is an ass.....everyone in chicago has a story about dan blowing them off. brendan is nice and a stand up guy.

and the arms have been the same people since the beginning, dan and the honor system have changed their lineup a few times already.

and yes, this is one of the best albums ever, a true classic.....

kenjamin (December 16, 2004)

The Honor System are probably calm and reserved guys where as the Lawrence Arms are much better looking, loud, funny, and put on a reputable live show. Plus Apathy and Exhaustion has tons of catchy hooks and a big sound. Rise and Run was pretty lackluster in my opinion but I doubt the Lawrence Arms will never write an album as good as Single File.

Anonymous (December 16, 2004)

i like it

The_Dodd (December 16, 2004)

One of my favorite albums of all-time.

If I may, I'd like to start a little Brendan Kelly vs. Dan Hanaway debate. Why did one succeed? Why did one, well, not succeed....yet? I am sure The Honor System has a good following, including myself, but they have not blown up at all. Any ideas, comments? Anybody give a damn?

Thumbs down to people who say "so and so is better than your band. I love the new album."

kenjamin (December 16, 2004)

seriously, if your band is half as good as the Broadways, I'll put your cd out myself.

lou (December 16, 2004)

PS - no one draw attention to the fact that i didn't have anything incredibly intelligent to say in the post below.

lou (December 16, 2004)

"this makes me confident that maybe my shitty band can get a record deal too"
--- opinions about music should be reserved for people with intelligent things to say.

when you have a band HALF as good as slapstick, the broadways, larry arms, etc. then you can talk again. this album owns you.

Anonymous (December 15, 2004)

this is such a good cd, and to to think it all started when i bought that slapstick record for 6.99.

that's what i meant.

Anonymous (December 15, 2004)

this is such a good cand to think, it all started when i bought the slapstick cd for 6.99.

dazed (December 15, 2004)

I haven't listened to this in a while. I think I will go do that now.

greg0rb (December 15, 2004)

Man, we used to rock this cd so hard in high school when it came out. I still love it, mostly I love mimicking dan's voice because it's so goddamn awful that it rules. Especially that one "Nooo-ooo" and our inside joke lyrical change "You and I sitting on the mountainside, staring at (my balls!)" Oh god I don't know why that is so funny, but it fucking is... just try it.
-Greg

jesuschristsuperstar (December 15, 2004)

its fucking rad that everyone loves this album. this is easily one of my favorite albums. it takes some time to get over the awful recording quality, but the songs are just fantastic.

ElVaquero (December 15, 2004)

just listened to the whole thing again. i think the reason i love this album so much is how fucking honest it all sounds. that's a pretty rare commodity in punk music (surprisingly) but this just sounds like they all really give a shit and give it their all. the music, the vocals, and the lyrics. honesty makes up for any recording fault.

ElVaquero (December 15, 2004)

damn i fucking love this album. favorite songs are everything i ever wanted to know... 15 minutes, 25 degrees north, and ben moves to california. everything brendan touches is golden.

Anonymous (December 15, 2004)

Why do bands on Asian Man have practically nothing in the way of liner note? I want the lyrics to the new Colossal, but I can't find them anywhere.

-Chinatwon

Anonymous (December 15, 2004)

this makes me confident that maybe my shitty band can get a record deal too

housewrecker (December 15, 2004)

(insert comic book guy voice) Your powers of deduction are far from exceptional. Your review fails to mention the beyond blantanty obvious influence of the older stuff by the Lookout! band Fifteen on this album. Now if you'll excuse me, there is a buy two burritos get the third at half price sale that I cannot miss.

Anonymous (December 15, 2004)

"If anyone is looking to get into an oft-neglected band, pick up Broken Rekid's anthology of Fuel--"Monuments to Excess". The East Bay band, not to be confused with the radio-shite rockers."

Great band, great record. If you love Hot Water Music, you'll love this band.

Anonymous (December 15, 2004)

one of my favorite records of all time... i too didn't realize jus how many other people love this band. this is one of those albums that i've listened too consistently every year since i got it. great great stuff... i think i'll put it on at work today.

hubitcherkokov (December 14, 2004)

Cos -

Are you sure? Most Broadways interviews I've read state Fifteen as their biggest influence. Whatever.

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

they influenced slapstick?

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

I'd like to second the Fuel recommendation... good call man.

OC

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

This CD is the radness

Cos (December 14, 2004)

Pity the poor punk who pick this up, thinking he's getting a lost gem. There's a few good songs on here, nothing more.

If anyone is looking to get into an oft-neglected band, pick up Broken Rekid's anthology of Fuel--"Monuments to Excess". The East Bay band, not to be confused with the radio-shite rockers. They influenced every band the Lawerence Arms guys have been in.

--Cos

kenjamin (December 14, 2004)

i think i meant to say, in the first line; none of them are very proficient on their instruments except for the drummer. Okay proofreading is good and i'll shut up now.

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

Wasted passed out on the kitchen floor...

I love this record and this band... Yea the recording is somewhat crappy but it adds character..'Restless' is one of my favorites ever.

CrankWillDestroy

kenjamin (December 14, 2004)

oh and thanks for telling me what songs chris sings.

kenjamin (December 14, 2004)

Damn I had no idea how many other people were fond of this record. I do find myself humming "redline" often but i just thought it was odd in this collection of songs. I did address the musical talents of the band. I wouldn't really call this band the chicago sound though. That would be more like Touch and Go records. Damn i'm boring. If i write another review i promise to make it a tad more entertaining. there are some dandies in the archives. Jets to brazil... hot water music reviews.

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

This is in my top 5 albums of all time. There are some minor things I could point out that could be improved, like a few parts of the lyrics, but as a whole, this is a great album. I was suprised at the reviewers statement that they weren't very good at their musical abilities. The drummer is great and the guitar playing is pretty good as well. And I fucking love the vocals. Even if all the songs dan sings sound like Fifteen and the one's Chris sings sound just like Jawbreaker. This was before he lost his vocal edge in Lawrence Arms.

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

lets go shoping today! if you live in chicago and dont own this record, get it, chicago takes on a whole new world. driving through belmont and clark with this blaring, provides a perfect soundtrack for the mean cold city streets of chicago. this is real life.

Big_Guy (December 14, 2004)

"Now here we have a fine record."

Indeed

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

Awesome record. This is still one of the best punk rock records to ever come out of Chicago, I remember when Slapstick broke up and these guys were playing basement shows. Ah the memories...

hubitcherkokov (December 14, 2004)

This and "Broken Van" both get perfect scores. I've got a bootleg audio live show but does anyone have video?

Personally, I love the mix and I think "Redline" fits well with the rest of the album. "I remember when we sat on the stairs eating popsicles that turned our lips blue"...I mean come on!!! What a fucking sweet line/visual!!

slippy (December 14, 2004)

Mad props to the Broadways.

bizzlebrizzle (December 14, 2004)

score's for this band, and all the other ripoffs of it. AFI, BLACK FLAG, i'm looking in your direction. And if you can't see the subtle resemblence you're a fucking poseur.

WTF are you talking about!?

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

score's for this band, and all the other ripoffs of it. AFI, BLACK FLAG, i'm looking in your direction. And if you can't see the subtle resemblence you're a fucking poseur.

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

i used to LOVE this cd back in high school. i popped it on the other day, it's still good, but i dunno, it doesn't grab me like it used to. honestly, it seemed kinda cheesy and overdone.

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

one of my favourite records. soo good. i however was introduced to them when a friend of mine told my the larry arms were coming to town and that i should go (to which i was lent the... big city ep, if that is what it's called, and it owned me). now, the larry arms weren't very good (at that point... pre-apathy stuff is hit and miss imo)... blah. i've lost my concentration.

Toby_at_Fat (December 14, 2004)

Now here we have a fine record.

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

redline fo' life!

REALPUNX4LIFE (December 14, 2004)

I'm RealPunx4Life and I approve (of) this record.

8dollarclarinetsolo (December 14, 2004)

i love redline, i think its perfect where it is. if it was on a record full of love sogns it wouldnt stand out, this record is just classic the way it is, and normally i dont say things like that, i just love this record so much

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

this might be one of the best cds out there.

Dropjaw (December 14, 2004)

anyone who doesnt give this a perfect score is a complete sap. yes its that good

Crookedsuperhero (December 14, 2004)

And i feel the same way about Red Line. Maybe i should read these through before i comment...

Crookedsuperhero (December 14, 2004)

And Chris sings Kichen Floor, 2nd verse of Police Song, Restless, the second verse of Lake Erie and The Nautical Mile.

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

Oh god, the Broadways fucking kick ass. 10x better than the Larry Arms.

Crookedsuperhero (December 14, 2004)

Amazing record. Fucking amazing.

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

too bad the recording quality is so poor on this record, because it would otherwise get a 10. this record kills.

Exclusive Streams

Sponsored


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go