Broadway
Gentleman's Brawl


2.5
average

Review

by Tony Li USER (36 Reviews)
November 3rd, 2012 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Yes, Broadway, we missed you back. But many damn things have changed these past three years.

This was the release I, personally, anticipated the most this year. Broadway's debut album "Kingdoms" was not only a spectacularly catchy and well-arranged “easycore” album, but it also represents a part of my life that I cannot forget. “Kingdoms” was the soundtrack of my days in high school as an underclassman. During freshman year, it was the go-to album for my friends and me: we were hooked on it and could not put it down. To us, it was THAT good. I do not exaggerate when I say that so many of my memories, happy and sad, are forever associated with the band’s first release. I have no small amount of nostalgia attached to this band…which is why sophomore release “Gentleman’s Brawl” is, to me at least, a rather bittersweet release. Broadway has ditched some parts of its sound, redefined/honed other parts, and is now walking the tightrope of shallowly catchy yet musically unimpressive pop-punk-easy-core. Gone are the unorthodox and interesting vocal/instrumental arrangements. Gone are a majority of the screams. Gone are the well-placed breakdowns and the echoing electronics. Make way for power chords, formulaic song structures, and uninspired lyrics.

Don’t be mistaken, all if not most of the songs on “Gentleman’s Brawl” are still sing-along, catchy, and highly energetic. Of all the regressions to be found on this album, there are some areas of growth. Frontman Misha proves once again to be one of the bands’ most valuable assets, with his soaring vocal range and his very proficient songwriting capabilities (though his lyrics are highly lacking nowadays, more on this later). Misha’s voice easily, and perhaps too easily, gives this album direction and trumps the rather same-y guitar work. Moreover, Misha has often transitions from hitting major notes to minor notes within songs, as evidenced by the flagship track “Vagrant Stories”. This is very effective, as it is very catchy and never seems out of place.

Despite Misha’s obvious improvement in some areas, he is not invulnerable to massive slipups. Some songs feature entirely uninspired choruses (listen to Lawyered). Because the vocals are so in the spotlight, so to speak, dismal songwriting and horrible lyrics stands out enormously. Consider the track “I Am Not a Rockstar”:

I straight ironed my hair,
Took me about 10 minutes to get my tight pants on.
Are you looking for the old me?
Cause that loser's long gone.

The lyrics are clearly meant to be satirical, but it isn’t executed well enough to prevent the song from sounding immature, horribly contrived, and cringe-worthy. This kind of social criticism isn’t Broadway’s game, so it is very out of place. Another example of songwriting weakness is the track “I’ve Got the Itis”:

I'm so lazy, I'm tired yeah,
I'm so lazy, I'd rather be fired yeah,
I'm so lazy, lazy, I feel so dead,
I'm so lazy, just can't seem to get up from my bed,

Broadway, you’re kidding me, right? It’s these almost painful lapses in Misha’s songwriting that really detract from this album.

Instrumentally, “Gentleman’s Brawl” is solid, but JUST solid. Drummer Jake Garland (who is ironically in Memphis May Fire, another band that suffers from musical regression) provides solid fills but does nothing truly interesting. Guitarist Sean Conners provides good-enough backing of Misha’s singing, but that’s just about it. He rarely shows any personality, with only a few memorable moments such as the solo towards the end of “Better Times”, the intro of “Vagrant Stories” and some sparse seconds in “There’s No Crying in Baseball”. The bassist, Gabe Fernandez, is barely audible. All in all, this album’s incredible lack of substance is traded off with unrelenting energy. Every track is fast, unrestrained, and loud, giving listeners no breaks. This may be another organizational failure of this album; “Gentleman’s Brawl” wears on after a while and ends up melding into one huge mass of enthusiasm, energy, and occasional atrocious musical moments.

I had huge hopes for this album, and I know that like most fans, this release will come forth as a disappointing degeneration of what was once a cohesive band. The old Broadway was as creative as it could have been within the easycore framework, but the new direction that the band is taking is as lazy as the subject matter in “I’ve Got the Itis”, trading in musicality for face-value catchiness. This being said, “Gentleman’s Brawl” lacks in staying power, but it is enjoyable enough in that superficial way to be an entertaining anthem of summer 2012. Unfortunately, this is all that it could be.

Recommended Tracks: “Party at Sean’s House”, “Better Things”, “Vagrant Stories”, “Medication”.



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user ratings (83)
Chart.
2.6
average
other reviews of this album
Sam Cowen (3)
After a delay of over a year, Broadway release a disappointing sophomore record....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Azn.
November 2nd 2012


5609 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Wrote this before summer 2012, sorry for the late upload!

I'm really not quite sure how I feel about this review (in terms of how well I wrote it).
Third review, bombs away!

Cygnatti
November 2nd 2012


21352 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

disappointing album yeah

Digging: Jon Hopkins - Immunity

Azn.
November 2nd 2012


5609 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

My enjoyment of this album was at like a 3, but objectively it's a 2.5 imo

Cygnatti
November 2nd 2012


21352 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I dunno what I'd rate this, I heard it once and cared so little about it that I don't even remember.

I'd say the first one is a good 3 but I have jammed that in weeks either so idk

Azn.
November 2nd 2012


5609 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, faded pretty fast for me too. Didn't even last the summer.

How was my writing, though?

Cygnatti
November 2nd 2012


21352 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I dun usually read reviews but I always take requests.

I think it's great that the first album meant something for you and your buds. There are many bands/albums I realized were crap that I loved when I was younger, but the few that actually had memories and other personal feelings attached to them will never be bad (to me at least).

The content is certainly fine by me. Those lyrics are worse than I recall. The review reads more of a 2 imo, as, other than catchiness and vocals, you didn't really give any compliments.

So yeah, review is damn fine by me.

Azn.
November 2nd 2012


5609 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sweet, thanks!
Haven't reviewed in a while so I was kinda iffy on this one

Azn.
November 2nd 2012


5609 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

And yeah other than the vocals and the catchiness this doesn't have much going for it

Cygnatti
November 2nd 2012


21352 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

well, I like short reviews best, and direct ones too so yeah

henryChinaski
November 3rd 2012


2758 Comments


Totally agree, album sucks. I really enjoyed their first one. Nice review.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
November 3rd 2012


50375 Comments


First album rules yeah

Digging: Viper the Rapper - You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack

Azn.
November 3rd 2012


5609 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks!
Not sure what happened to these guys

guizpom
November 3rd 2012


45 Comments


I loved the first one. I'm afraid of listening to this,
pos'd

Azn.
November 3rd 2012


5609 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

No, listen to this. It's still catchy and there are still great moments.

But the work as a whole has kinda degraded

NationalRadio
November 3rd 2012


362 Comments


Man, this took way too long to make. And because of that I don't even want to listen to it now. Kingdoms wasn't bad

sixdegrees
November 3rd 2012


17080 Comments


this sounds terrible.

Digging: School Food Punishment - Air Feel, Color Swim

Azn.
November 3rd 2012


5609 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I personally wouldn't say "terrible"...but lol it's objectively not good

paradox1216
November 4th 2012


482 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Eh. It's way worse than Kingdoms, but the horrible lyrics don't turn me off of the generally well written songs.

Digging: Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World

ikarus
November 29th 2012


562 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

opening track is pretty fun but yeah most of this is just a glob of catchy upbeat riffs and weak lyrics

altforazninva5in
March 3rd 2013


263 Comments


Shut the fuck up you retarded hypocrite. For every somewhat of a run on sentence I write you write like 7. I hope you realize that I space out my lengthier sentences and intersperse my writing with shorter sentences in order to achieve more of a flow to the writing. BUT of course you know absolutely nothing about all of this because you are to this day a shitty writer.

And I don't even get why you're including the pre-semicolon part. I doubt you even know what a semicolon is.

There are not too many lyrical quotations. There are two. It doesn't make it "run on too long", and this is a fairly concise review to begin with. It's average length, I'd say, maybe even slightly above average. Do you even fucking know how to properly cite a quotation from a lyrical passage/poem? I bet no. You probably never passed any lang and comp course.

The whole point of me mentioning the sparse moments in passing was because this review is a largely negative outlook. I'm not going to elaborate on sparse moments because they're sparse, insignificant, and don't contribute much to the album as a whole. But that'd be too fucking hard to process for your little pea of a brain, now, wouldn't it.

I don't give a shit whether or not your neg gets removed, I'm reporting it. You're insanely dumb.




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