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April 17, 2024

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The Broadways
Broken Star (Asian Man Records)

By: Alex Steininger

The Broadways are a political punk band hailing from Chicago, Illinois. Featuring Brendan Kelly (vocals) and Dan Hanaway (guitar/former trumpet player) from Slapstick, these guys drop the ska from there previous group and concentrate on brutal punk with a melody.

"15 Minutes" kicks off the CD. Right from the beginning they start off with a fierce guitar and strong lyrics. As the guitar and vocals build up the song, eight seconds later the drums and bass slam their way into the mix. Then the song jumps into the punk frenzy that will get you moving around, and if you pay attention to the lyrics, deeply examining your (and the whole worlds) existence. With lyrics like, "I wish I could turn the clock back to when I was ten. When I wasn't scared of everything and everything wasn't so fucking crowded. And I wonder if my kids will ever see a horizon untouched by billboards and shopping malls," you start to realize where the band is coming from, and bringing your own frustrations to the surface. "Police Song" brings more punk your way, as well as more lyrics that will get you thinking and dreaming of a better society. Hard hitting drums, fierce bass lines, and a guitar that screams through the song leads you through a tale of bad cops, paying taxes to feel like a prisoner, and being brainwashed. The vocals have a good-sized punk snarl to them, helping to add a bit more anger and bitterness to the front, as well as to help bring every word to life. The backing vocals carry even more of a bite to them, giving the song a subconscious that even feels what is being said. With all that put together, you know they are honest and trustworthy in every word they say. "Jonathan Kozol Was Right..." is one of the strongest tracks, lyrically, on this album. "A school's income is determined by property tax and how much money can you get from poor Mexican and black families trapped in slums? Poor kids need the most attention, but since they're untaxable they get none," is just one of the many thoughts this song (as well as this WHOLE album) brings to your attention. How can you ignore a band that isn't thinking about their welfare, but rather the welfare of the forgotten? These guys will keep surprising you with their deep thoughts and concerns for the way our system is poorly ran. "Fuck You Larry Koesche, I Hope You Starve and Die Someday" is another blast at police and other government officials who try to hide the problems in the poorer areas of America. Instead of being a full-on attack of punk rock and angst, they slow it down to produce a very nice punk rock influenced emo track. Very melodic, and slow compared to the rest of their tracks, they tone it down a bit to help you absorb and pay attention to the lyrical contents of the song. Just one of the many songs that you must pay attention too. "Nautical Mile" closes out the CD with some very melodic punk rock. From beginning to end this CD keeps the energy alive and blasts new ideas your way.

If you're looking for some happy-go-lucky punk about girls and drinking beer you won't find it here. These guys keep all their songs deeply political and angst ridden about our society. If you want to know what is wrong with our society (if you couldn't figure it out by yourself), or if you want music that will let you know that your frustrations with our society are not your lone thoughts, then this is the CD for you. Very melodic and powerful, the energy will blast you away. I'll give this CD an A+.

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