Album Reviews: Inside/Absent by Broken SpindlesBroken Spindles was initially realized as a side project for The Faint bassist Joel Peterson. A self-titled debut appeared in 2001, on which Broken Spindles offered what was essentially a cross between soundtrack material and The Faint. Electro-new wave textures and beeps maneuvered to make the album enjoyable, especially for indie rock in 2001, even if it wasn't particularly memorable.
With 2004's Fulfilled: Complete, Broken Spindles moved more toward The Faint's territory, adding vocals to the mix while still offering a more subdued, soundtrack-esque version of Peterson's main gig. The second album presented Spindles' dual concerns: melodic, moody electro-scapes on the one hand, and new wave-techno (a la The Faint) on the other. Inside/Absent doesn't stray too far from this equation, although this album appears to be a little more aware of the dichotomy. The songs vary, almost within a pattern, back and forth between muted electro and driving dance tracks. You're tempted to read the interaction of these two styles as a sophisticated dialogue between Broken Spindles' two influences, particularly because each type of song contains obvious elements of the other. Eventually the two sides meet, creating a broader, more mature album than we've yet seen from Broken Spindles.
While it still kind of sounds like material that Peterson has been tinkering around with while not occupied by his other band, Broken Spindles is at very least intriguing for fans of The Faint. - Cory O'Malley
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