Broadcaster - Joyride (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Joyride (2011)


Writing an effective rock song isn't rocket science. Take a solid melody, a catchy hook, throw in some calculated, buzzing guitars and a few tidy drum fills and you're usually 90 percent of the way home–the remaining 10 percent is left for any wild cards or unique flashes. The ratios of a lot of bands are askew, resulting in plenty of unmemorable or unlistenable ideas that dilute the final product, regardless of musician intent; one quick perusal of Bandcamp or Facebook confirms this hypothesis. Keep it simple, stupid.

On the Joyride EP, Broadcaster show quite the aptitude and appreciation for the formula. They're a power trio (as many great rock bands are; think about it) and like a lot of power trios, they're able to take what might be perceived as an inherent disadvantage and make it work. Less is truly more in this case, as opener "Snow Party" succeeds on the strength of its infectious chorus, highlighted by the well-placed "whoa"s of vocalist Jesse Litwa. "All Your Friends" pulls in the reins just a bit; the guitars twinkle a little more and the chorus is primarily instrumental, but the band remain firmly within their element.

The mid-tempo plod of "Atlantic Sea" is almost reminiscent of latter-era Thermals in its simplicity and calculation; even Litwa's inflections sound similar to those of Hutch Harris at certain points. The drums becoming more cymbal-heavy as the song progresses is a nice, subtle touch as well. Joyride closes in much the same way it began, with "Vacation Days" leaning heavily on its huge chorus.

Also of note is this EP's production. Tom Kelly's basslines are quite high in the mix, giving these songs a thicker, fuller sound than one might expect from a three-piece. The band produced Joyride themselves and with one listen, it's easy to hear why. Highly recommended.

Joyride EP