Broken City
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Broken City

Tallahassee, Florida, United States | INDIE

Tallahassee, Florida, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Avant-garde

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"D. Westner"


"Keith Cornella and Broken City can be powerfully quiet, subtly loud, wonderfully moody, and totally good."
– D. Westner (Rick Berlin, Dropkick Murphys)
- Time Warner


"Inventive sounds from Boston"

Keith Cornella and Broken City "Arms are Falling" (Independent 2008)

Inventive sounds from Boston

Keith Cornella and Broken City are a Boston based collective that play guitar rock and a fair bit more. This album is a both a backward glance at rock of the last 40 years and a crafty look at the future in terms where we stand 9 years into the new millenium.

The opening title track has hints of space rock and the drone of Can but then we move into ‘Energy’ which does exactly what it says on the packet, starting with some David Byrnesque vocals that are promptly savaged by some supreme guitarwork straight out of the Nels Cline locker. ‘Engage’ follows up with a straight ahead ‘rock’ song that has hints of mid King Crimson with the repeated pealing guitar motif.

There is an ambition at work hear, a desire to create. ‘Free Ride’ is an arms raised stadium rocker born in the vaults of Kansas and filtered through the The Flaming Lips – it doesn’t quite work but the vision inspires.

There are hints of everyone here from Beck ‘Loaded Lovers’ to the Floyd on ‘Foxfire’ but it does not detract from a sense of a whole.

Repeated plays bring more of an idea of band identity and a kind of understanding of where they’re from and where they’re going to but still no definitive idea of what they are about!. Climb on board, it could be an interesting trip. - Americana UK


"New CD by Cornella and Broken City varied, intriguing"

(Editor's Note: PRETTY MUCH EVERY QUOTE IS COMPLETELY MISQUOTED, BUT WHAT THE HELL, IT'S A DECENT REVIEW)

By JAY N. MILLER
For The Patriot Ledger
Posted Feb 13, 2009 @ 05:00 AM

Keith Cornella and Broken City came to Boston to study and master jazz, and then decided to go back to their first love, rock ’n’ roll.
The foursome’s debut album, ``Arms Are Falling,'' was released about eight weeks ago, and they’ll be playing Tuesday night at T.T. the Bear’s in Cambridge. (The album is available on iTunes, Amazon.com and their Web site, www.myspace.com/keithcornellaandbrokencity.)
The new CD has a varied and intriguing sound, with tastes of Americana, alternative rock, arena rock and even, in the title track, a definite Far Eastern influence. There are not a lot of obvious jazz elements, except that the music is perpetually surprising in where it goes. More to the point, it is compelling rock ’n’ roll, with a heady mix of new flavors that spice up, without overpowering, the basic rock format.
``We’ve all had diverse interests, beginning with our parents and siblings’ music, right up through college,'' said Cornella. ``For our first CD we didn’t want to work with any constraints, trying to sound like one thing, or worrying about being too eclectic. We wanted to aim more for quality than a specific category.''
``A few years back, most albums had two or three songs that were totally different than the bulk of the album, hipper and cooler in most cases,'' Cornella added.
``But by the 1990s everything was marketed so tightly that albums began to all sound the same, all the way through. That bored us as music fans, and we wanted to avoid that trap.
``We just have fun playing different types of music. But in a live setting, we’re more a straight-ahead rock band than anything else.''
The band
Cornella is a Florida native, while lead guitarist Matt Cadarette hails from Deerfield, and drummer Jeff Muzerolle is a central Massachusetts native. Bassist Carter Dahm of Boston is the newest member, replacing Jon Hindmarsh, who had to bow out of the group after the album was recorded. The band members basically met up at Berklee College of Music, where all were studying jazz to one degree or another.
Cornella majored in jazz composition, and pursued his love of big bands and swing music.
``I used to play in a big band, based in Marlboro,'' noted Cornella, ``and Jeff has been in several jazz combos. I think we’ve all played with singer-songwriters in the Americana vein, and Boston has a great scene in that kind of music.''
The actual catalyst for the formation of the rock quartet was a seven-month tour with an old pal’s rock band. At Berklee, Cornella had been close friends with Jared Flamm, and the two had written songs together. Flamm fronts the Los Angeles rock trio Biirdie (which needs the extra i because there is a British band called Birdie), and in 2005 they needed some added instrumentation for a seven-month tour. Cornella and Cadarette signed on, and over the course of 110 shows both discovered anew the power and pull of rock ’n’ roll. Before the tour was over, Cornella was writing rock songs for the as-yet unborn rock band he and Cadarette would form.
``I had probably written nothing but jazz instrumentals for 10 years,'' Cornella said. ``But when we went on the road with Biirdie, it was unexpectedly such a wonderful experience. ... We were treated to ovations every night, and we got the bug to rock again. We had plainly forgotten just how fun it could be.''
Cornella has always been drawn to writing. His part-time day job is writing for computer software users’ manuals.
`` ‘PopPowBam’ was the easiest song I ever wrote – 12 minutes start to finish. But I did take a while to hit my stride writing lyrics, and a lot of early ones ended up in the trash.''
The final result is an interesting mix of styles, from the meat-and-potatoes rock of ``Energy'' to the more textured guitars of a slightly less fervent rocker, ``Engage.'' The very affecting ``Loaded Lovers'' rides mandolin and pedal steel accents in a lovely Americana style. And ``Let’s Celebrate Love'' is just the sort of warm, rambling ballad you’d expect Levon Helm to be singing for The Band. ``PopPowBam'' evokes vintage Ramones punk (and humor), while ``Ships Lay Ready'' adds a touch of psychedelia to the roots-rock vein, for a dreamy voyage that might remind you of Wilco.
Cornella and Broken City have one odd promotional idea: They favor a promo picture that has all their heads replaced by bombs.
``Whenever you see new bands in Spin magazine or wherever, they all look the same,’ said Cornella. ``All the indie rockers look the same, with the same indie rock haircuts, and it’s all so homogenous, it’s a little disconcerting. Why not have a little variety? '' - Patriot Ledger


Discography

Full length record:
Arms are Falling (2008)

Photos

Bio

"The opening title track has hints of space rock and the drone of Can but then we move into ‘Energy’ which does exactly what it says on the packet, starting with some David Byrnesque vocals that are promptly savaged by some supreme guitarwork straight out of the Nels Cline locker. ‘Engage’ follows up with a straight ahead ‘rock’ song that has hints of mid King Crimson with the repeated pealing guitar motif."
- AmericanaUK

"Keith Cornella and Broken City can be powerfully quiet, subtly loud, wonderfully moody and totally good."
– D. Westner (Rick Berlin, Dropkick Murphys)