Review Summary: Something fresh.
In my mind, an EP needs to do two things: it has to begin, and then it needs to quickly and respectfully end. “How arbitrary,” one might add, and of course I’d agree. I’m in the business of making arbitrary statements, so let me throw another one at you: Art of Ballistics’ Broken Mornings is one hell of an EP. It’s atmospheric, but not droney and overly concerned with ambience. It’s panicked and urgent, but leaves room for the impatient sound of racing thoughts. There are moments of rest, but they are skillfully and scantily spread throughout each song in a way that only makes the melodies more effective. Broken Mornings embodies a paranoid sadness that somehow manages to remain hopeful and driven, like the only thing left to do is keep trying.
The juxtaposed nature of the organic and electronic elements in each track create a unique kind of tension that is (thankfully) a few steps below the manic bleep-bloop irritation of other electronic beat based music. Broken Mornings’ most yielding moments are when these two contrasting elements mingle; it’s in those moments that the humanity shines through the mechanical.
The first track, “Unspoken Truths,” opens things up in the heat of urban paranoia; it’s by far the coldest and most manic track on the record, but again, it creates excellent contrast for what comes later. “The Curse of Pat Boone” starts patiently, but ends in madness. The next two tracks “Never Prophet” and “Ode to Molloch” maintain the atmosphere, letting the record hover in limbo for a moment before the final track comes knocking like the beautiful hangover that it is. Broken Mornings starts in full gear, and by the times things wind down and its runtime is up, it’s time to start over again.
This album is a real gem.