Broken Spindles - Fulfilled/Complete (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Broken Spindles

Fulfilled/Complete (2004)

Saddle Creek

As we approach the end of a third year waiting for the Faint to follow up their dynamite Danse Macabre LP [review], bassist Joel Peterson brings us his second solo album under the moniker of Broken Spindles to help tide the faithful over. I was weary at first, as the first Broken Spindles album was all instrumental faux-electronic babble that never really went anywhere, outside of being background music for a few naïve college freshmen losing their v-cards to their college radio station's music director. In short, the album was pretty much a dud.

Luckily, Peterson has grown as an individual artist since then, and has put together a formidable follow-up in Fulfilled/Complete. The album starts out with the instrumental "Induction" before revealing the disc's true intentions with "Fall In and Down On," the first of a number of songs that Peterson sings on. The beat in this track could have easily been one left over from the Danse Macabre sessions, as it sounds sexy and dangerous all at once. Another highlight is "To Die, For Death," a largely un-electronic track featuring acoustic guitar and a stuttered dance beat. When Peterson croaks out "I'm ready to die / I'm ready for death" in his whisper of a baritone, you can't help but believe him.

The biggest hinderance of the album are the instrumental tracks, mainly because the ones that Peterson sings on are so enjoyable that it's a shame he didn't write lyrics for all of them. Most of the instrumentals come off more as interludes than anything else, with "Italian Wardrobe" being the only one with a strong enough melody to survive without vocals. The album's ten tracks are spit evenly between the two camps, though, so if you were a fan of the material Peterson had previously released, you'll still find enough to enjoy here.

While it certainly won't replace the Faint as my dance party band of choice, Broken Spindles is making leaps and bounds in the category of improvement, and could very well be the "next big thing" in indie rock with another album or two.

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