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- Outbreeding by David Thomas Broughton
9/10 Mike Staff review, 30 June 2011
Me and David Thomas Broughton go way back. I don't know him personally, understand, but he started off round these parts so he used to be a pretty regular fixture at local DIY shows. My old band once played a gig with him and Herman Dune, and another band I was in recorded at Ghost Town just after he did so we got a sneak preview of his first album, 'The Complete Guide to Insufficiency' about a year before it came out (and once it did I listened to it pretty obsessively). That combination of folk traditions and modern experimental production made for a record which I maintain is one of the best post-rock-type releases of recent years. This one, however, is an entirely different collection. Gone are the slow-building loops of guitar and vocals building to solo symphonies, as this time round he's got a backing band (including Billy Mahonie sticksman Howard Monk) and he's doing more straightforward songwriter fare. Don't fear, though, this record is still utterly charming. The songwriting and delivery do actually bring to mind the aforementioned Herman Dune, but his John Martynesque vocals do ensure that this comes across as something entirely distinct, it just has that same comforting, playful feel to it. Towards the end of this collection 'Onwards We Trudge' has a bit of manipulation and loopery going on which is very welcome because I've always kind of seen that (along with his distinctive voice) as kind of his trademark. The closer 'Joke' is a bit of a surprise, too...certainly the most upbeat thing I've heard from this man, with its Motown-influenced songwriting and handclaps and gang backing vocals it has an almost doo-wop feel to it. The bonus track, a live version of opener 'River Lay', seems a little bit pointless because it's much the same as the studio version but not as well recorded. That aside, however, this record is totally charming and I can see it becoming a bit of a staple for me in the near future. Perhaps not as much as that classic debut of his did, but what he's lost in uniqueness here he makes up for in accessibility, and I imagine it'll do wonders for his profile. Guardian readers are gonna go nuts for it.
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