LISTEN IN: Group makes the most out of brief, ‘Mayrin Fields’Published 5:00pm Saturday, April 9, 2011
Like their debut self-titled album, Broken Bells’ EP “Meyrin Fields” is a clash of genres — and that’s not a bad thing.
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Broken Bells pairs Brian Burton — better know as the producer, artist Danger Mouse — with singer-guitarist James Murcer. The duo came together out of mutual respect for each other’s music, and their collaboration pays homage to both men’s past styles.
Burton blends the electronics and a taste of the soulful hip-hop from his past group Gnarls Barkley into subdued space rock. Mercer adds in his vocals and guitars for a more rugged sound than he used in The Shins.
The band shows its capability of blending genres. Their instrumental “An Easy Life” touches on reggae, and “Heartless Empire” produces a sound that’s modestly ‘80s. “Windows” mixes distorted vocals and anthems over pulsing bass and drum parts.
The guitar-driven “Heartless Empire” is a fitting track to close out the four-song EP with Murcer’s echoing vocals yielding to a closing bass part to end the album. When the last note of a precise bassis cut to end the album, it’ll leave many people wanting more.
Even at four tracks, “Meyrin Fields” is a capable — albeit brief — second release.