The Broken West: I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On


The blurb on the front of The Broken West’s I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On likens this Los Angeles band to Big Star, Teenage Fanclub, and Merge labelmates Spoon.  Add to that list Wilco. With vocal processing levels set to Tweedy, “Down in the Valley” and “Big City” could be B-sides from Wilco’s Being There.  Indie rock DJs take note: “Valley” even ends with the same guitar chug that launches “Outtasite (Outta Mind).”   Keep that in mind next time you’re stumped for a transition.   And while you’re at it, sequence the effective and sparse “Shiftee” alongside the George Harrison and Sleepy Jackson songs in your set.  California comes to the fore toward the middle of the album, first on the Byrdsesque“You Can Build an Island," while traces of The Eagles surface on “Hale Sunrise.”  I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On holds up from start to finish, proving there’s nothing extraneous to be found on these dozen tracks, making this debut one of the strongest of the year.

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