The Brokedowns - These Colors Don't Run (The Musical) (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Brokedowns

These Colors Don't Run (The Musical) (2006)

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Comparisons are easy to make. It's easy to say, "This band totally sounds like this other band!" It's the crutch of the reviewer. It's a cop-out, it's an easy way to shill out 250 words when 75 of them are "they're like a cross between David Bowie and Martha Stewart mixed with the Shins and Hank Williams but only if James Mercer and Hank were having a baseball home run contest with Ron Artest and Frodo from the Lord of the Rings." Which is why I'll restrain myself from saying that the Brokedowns sound like Dillinger Four.

But I will say that the Brokedowns dally in the same sort of section of punk music complete with similar riff stylings and wit. And who can blame them? If you're from the Midwest, chances are you've been rocking out to Dillinger Four since 1998 with their dual gruff vocal duties over inventive four-chord progressions inventive and classic at the same time. People say that not many people owned a copy of the first Velvet Underground album, but that everyone who did started a band. Or someone said that. Or something. Well, I think the same effect can be applied to anyone who saw Dillinger Four play a show while still in their youthful years. Lord knows if I could play an instrument better I'd have started my own band based off of D4.

Shit, I just keep talking don't I?

Well, the Brokedowns have witty track titles like "Marijuana Leads to Jazz Music" and "Life Ends at Conception" and "We Can Drive 55" and "Bro-Fest 2009." They have fast tempos and sweet riffs mixed into their poppy-yet-gruff four-chord punk, and they have 12 tracks and the album's only 25 minutes long. They have sampled interludes between some tracks and dip their toes into `80s hardcore gang vocals and edge. Not many of the tracks are standout or really groundbreaking or boring. But with that in mind, all of the tracks are good enough to make me want to listen to them again.

Fuck, who am I kidding? They really do sound like Dillinger Four. As in, I've checked like three times to make sure Paddy isn't actually in the band. But that's not a bad thing. Out of all the bands to garner attention in recent years, D4 is one that has worked hard and proven themselves to be a cut above the rest. So what if the Brokedowns are D4 Junior. It's a good formula. But I'd probably like this album better if I had never heard D4 in my life.

I think the Brokedowns have a great future ahead of them. All I've heard is this album, but it's solid, and it could be a great jump-off point. I hear that they're recording their debut for THICK right now. Should be a good one, check it out and check this one out too.