ALBUM REVIEW: Broken Bow – Desolation

By: Jeremy Fleischer

3/5 STARS

Fort Collins’ Broken Bow aptly calls its musical style “jug metal,” and a quick googling of the term suggests they invented it. This alone deserves applause, for it’s a style that should have come along sooner.

Metal has always had a hard-on for the technical, from guitar playing with speed and precision to neurotically tuning the drums. At times, it fine-tunes the heart out of the music, and it certainly excludes less-skilled musicians. Well, Broken Bow goes in the other direction with its metal, towards a jug band, which is known for playing improvised instruments, like jugs and washboards. This adds a certain populist element to the music, not unlike punk rock. The sense is anyone with any ability could join in. Yet, it’s still essentially metal.

Broken Bow has the angry growl of death metal, the frenetic speed of thrash, and lyrics appropriate for the title Desolation. But at times, it’s also kind of like being in a bar sing-a-long, as if you could play along by rapping a pint glass with your phone. For most, the music will be grating, which is true to metal. But for fans of metal, this could be a reason to leave mom’s basement and shred that hidden kazoo like Kerry King.

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