UNDIVIDED ATTENTION: Broken Robots’ 2018 Debut LP “Home Is Not A Place” Is Sincere and Underrated
On the two year anniversary of their debut album (and their wedding), one thing is clear about Broken Robots; this band has heart in droves. They care. They care about life, they care about second chances, they care about their fans, music clearly means everything to them. And isn’t that the greatest feeling when you know a band cares as much about their own music as you do?
Welcome back to UNDIVIDED ATTENTION, where we actually sit down and listen to a full record undisturbed, without distraction, and then give you our thoughts on it (something that’s clearly starting to go by the wayside in our modern world). View our full review in the youtube link below, and enjoy our feature on Broken Robots “Home Is Not A Place”!
So I’ve got to start this out by saying Broken Robots are pretty much my favorite band. And in this era of biased journalism, I’m starting to think a biased take is actually, in a way, a more reliable take than an objective one, consider this; I have to start this review off by proving to you that I can see any potential faults that may exist in this album before you can trust that my authority on music is genuine, and that I can truly understand what makes this album so phenomenal. So I’m gonna kick it off by doing just that:
“Home Is Not A Place”, the 2018 debut from Broken Robots, at times is quite a bit different in essence than where the band is now. There are a lot more “rock” moments on this project than the trip-hop/funk/soul/grooves you’ll hear from 2019 on. The most obvious difference between “Home Is Not A Place” and the band’s recent output is that their bassist Lonnie wasn’t a member for this album, and it’s apparent at times how much he’s missed. The band’s entire chemistry changed once he joined, and absolutely for the better as their new music strives for something more universal and relevant. Overall my biggest critique is probably that this album can be a little too ‘scrappy’ sometimes; the band was brand new so the songwriting was still trying to figure itself out at times (even the band admitted in a recent personal interview that the album feels a little too “indie rock” overall). The hooks are catchy as hell, but still aren’t quiet as mainstream as what they’ve been cooking up lately… but isn’t this kind of what’s expected on a band’s debut? And for these rough spots, “Home Is Not A Place” is leagues above most indie bands’ debuts. That spark of a great band is all over these tracks, the excitement is palpable.
OK! So now that I’ve established that I’m not totally bias haha, let’s talk about why this album kicks so much ass. There are some seriously insanely catchy ear candy hooks throughout; whether it’s the ‘badass motorcycling into the sunset hook’ on “Homemade Hand Grenades”, the ‘can’t stop singing it hours later’ chorus on “Bad Habits”, the Hush Sound-esque duet round on “Graveyard Season”, their hook writing ability has been apparent from day one.
Also, Tony’s production throughout absolutely shines, and has that “BR” feel to it that makes them such a stand out band. You know a Broken Robots track when you hear it, there’s no mistaking them for any other band. Stand out moments like the verses on my personal favorite track “Satan’s Lunchbox” or the weaving bits and clips on “Slow Motion” are a perfect welcome into the Broken Robots musical universe for anyone new to the band. It’s beautiful to hear that this “it” factor has been there from day one.
But what really stands out most to me, and what makes revisiting (or discovering this album for the first time) worth your while is the heart. This album has more heart than most I heard all last decade. This band has heart in droves. They care. They care about life, they care about second chances, they care about their fans, music clearly means everything to them. And isn’t that the greatest feeling when you know a band cares as much about their own music as you do? Broken Robots have a very specific and unique story, but at the end of the day if you strip those specifics away, it’s still just a classic underdog story. And maybe the scrappiness at times, that under dog quality, is what makes this album so real and important.