Broken Links – Conflict::States
Release Date: 30/04/2021
Running Time: 55:13
Review by Wallace Magri
“Conflict::States” is the fourth, self-released, album from Broken Links, a three piece UK based band that delivers a pleasant mix of All Goth Rock styles: Post-Punk, Dark Electro and Alt/Pop Rock. Regarding the lyrics, according to lead singer/guitarist Mark Lawrence on the press release, “People are living in a world where they think they have choices. There are no choices. We’re on borrowed time. This album is a statement of awareness to all the shit holding society back.”
I totally agree with him about the fact that we have pre-oriented choices in our lives, there is nothing such as free will – unless free will means that you are able to choose from things, which are previously selected for you, to make you feel amazed with what you didn’t need in the first place. It really feels, to me, that we are all living in a cage!
If that is so, I would rather keep on listening to Dark Electro as much as I can, because it relates to my state of mind, since I know that the digital society is just a tedious version of the boredom I felt back in the 80’s. And that is from the era that Broken Links seems to rise from, reminding me of bands like Bad Religion, Depeche Mode, Siouxsie and the Banshees, early Nine Inch Nails and a little bit of Manic Street Preachers.
Even though, in these days, an album that takes nearly an hour to listen to is almost an insult to the digital music industry, the fact is, that you can just keep the songs going here, because “Conflict::States” has many high quality songs that keep the listening experience very stable. So, I am gonna choose some of the songs that most caught my attention to give to you my impression of the overall album.
‘Pioneers’ reminds me of post-punk era Blondie, as heard in the 80’s classic song ‘Heart Of Glass’! It has a darker and heavier approach, for sure, but the pop appeal appears in the pre-chorus, thanks to the melancholic vocals. On ‘Antibiolitics’ the dark side of Broken Links is highlighted, and I just loved the drum and bass power of the song and also the solo, played over a contrasting scale, with an oriental vibe to it.
On ‘Cold War’ the Industrial Metal element arises sublimely, at the beginning, to meet the Goth Rock approach of the band, falling into a melodic chorus which has a fondness to post-punk. ‘Fatalism’ follows in the same direction and the vocals remind me of Trent Reznor’s singing attack at its best. In any case, the organic instruments are the main body on all the compositions. Broken Links are able to provide a quite unique sonority on these songs, and on the whole of “Conflict::States”.
I will tell you now that if I lived in the UK and Broken Links came to my town, I wouldn’t miss the chance to catch them playing live, just to have my night painted black with well-arranged Goth Rock songs. So, I advise you to show up, if and when they come to your town.
‘Pioneers’ (Official Video)
01. The Day Called X
05. Cold War
11. Year XI
Mark Lawrence – Vocals/Guitars
Phil Boulter – Drums
Lewis Betteridge – Bass
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