- 17 Feb 12
Belfast Act come of age on album number two.
The Jane Bradfords are no longer a band burdened by their influences. Whilst still doffing their cap to the likes of The National and Echo & The Bunnymen, they’ve expanded beyond the frontiers of their debut to create a multilayered sound that encompasses fizzing indie rock, plaintive alt. country and twinkling dashes of electronica, piano and strings. There’s real emotional heft too, to songs which convey the intimacy of a moment, in lyrics that feel truly lived.
The voice of frontman Deci Gallen – best compared to a doctor delivering bad news – has a sombreness to it that neatly fits the subject matter. Be it the irreversible flight of time’s arrow, the fracturing of relationships, or the nagging realisation that yours is a life unfulfilled, these soul-searching songs get to the core of the human condition.
Throughout, there is a neat balance between the melancholy and the delirious, with big choruses aplenty, be it the thump and rush thrill-ride of ‘Until The End’, or wild guitar and breakneck drums of ‘Judicial Duel’. The broadness of sound is highlighted by the suffocating synthetic fog of ‘Glow’ and ‘About Our Love’ – a teary-eyed lament that combines tip-toeing piano and country-tinged guitar.
‘NYC Lights’ brings the curtain down in fine style, leading from desolate piano to euphoric chorus and back again. It’s a rain-slicked triumph of a song. If their 2008 album was a pledge of potential, then 100 Miles Of Broken Pavement represents that promise made good.