B. Hamilton

Everything I Own Is Broken

Written by: PP on 27/08/2012 04:26:47

B. Hamilton are on the verge of writing a truly great album, but I have a feeling they haven't quite realized it themselves just yet. That's why "Everything I Own Is Broken" sounds the way it does, a little bit confused and all over the place stylistically. The band cover at least four genres that are similar stylistically, but different enough to cause the listener to raise an eyebrow or two when they are all visited in succession on the same album.

Basically, the opening track "Me And Margaret Counting Countdowns" is the kind of track that should tell the trio to stop everything else they're doing and try to find ways to extrapolate this exact sound onto 12 more similar-sounding tracks on the album. It's a brilliantly noisy, fuzzy track so full of warmth and vibrant energy that it's impossible not to be taken aback by its colourful sound, which closely resembles the vivid garage rock of the 90s era bands like Superchunk, Dinosaur Jr., and of course the late arrivals in Joyce Manor. It has the kind of buzzing vibe and atmosphere to it that would push the band far if the whole record was stacked with songs like this.

But then already on the second track, the band ventures into The White Stripes territory for a bluesy garage rock moment, which is kind of similar to the first track on paper, but in reality is missing the warmth and upbeat energy of the opening track. Then "Gold Tooth" offers yet a third perspective, this time a more conventional indie rock sound, and later on the band finds itself stuck in classic blues rock that references Jimi Hendrix and stuff like that. These are all individually interesting styles and B. Hamilton indeed do well in all of them, but it is when they let their guitars fully into the vibrant melodies of the garage/noise/lo-fi spectrum that they are at their best. "Between The Gutters & Ballrooms" is another such example.

So for now, "Everything I Own Is Broken" is a frustrating listen because it's clearly written by talented musicians with so much potential, but because of whatever reason they haven't yet discovered their strengths as songwriters and are still searching for an identity. If they find it, and write more songs like the first track on this album, these guys could be huge.

Download: Me And Margaret Counting Countdowns, Between The Gutters And Ballrooms
For the fans of: The White Stripes, Sonic Youth, The Pixies, Superchunk
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 26.06.2012
Parks And Records

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