Brokeback are an American music band deeply rooted in the Chicago music scene. The band features members of Tortoise, Exit Verse and The Eternals (among others), and part of Illinois River Valley Blues includes them playing a Rob Mazurek piece. This is like old-timey music put through a post-rock prism by some experts in the field. On Thrill Jockey.
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 22 February 2017
All the gang is here. Brokeback is the long term project of Doug McCombs (Tortoise) but also includes James Elkington (Steve Gunn/Tweedy), is produced by John McEntire (Tortoise) and Sam Prekop (the Sea and Cake) takes the (excellent) photos.
What we have is a kind of soup that marries the complexities of Chicago post and math rock, the cinematic sweep of Morricone, old timey folk laden compositions and just a hint of Allman Brothers style instrumental southern rock boogie. 'Cairo Levee' is a sun scorched tour de force of rhythms and twiddles and sounds something akin to what would happen if you left Tortoise out in the sun too long. Elsewhere however they cut a more traditional path. 'Andalusia, IL' is a kind of desert twang that somehow combines the Shadows and Pell Mell.
The album is full of careworn and twangy instrumentals which at times are far more traditional than your usual Chicago area fare but veer between twin guitar attacks and excellent drumming (provided by the Eternals Areif Sless-Kitain) and spookier noir-ish twang pieces which head into Bohren and Der Club of Gore territory.
Generally a fine exercise in how instruments can twang up against each other.
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- Illinois River Valley Blues by Brokeback
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