The best bands don’t begin with a commercial attitude and a business tucked plan firmly placed in an office filing cabinet. They begin as groups of friends who get together to play a little music, and end up melding so well there’s no other choice but to start playing that music for others. Similarly, their sound isn’t forced to follow mainstream stereotypes, and any eventual success is usually organic and well-earned across time. That’s one of the things that makes those bands endearing.
These aren’t musicians desperately hungering for the spotlight, or willing to sacrifice any artistic integrity for a placing on the local radio charts. They just want to write and play songs, and it all happens for them with an easy-going, natural kind of chemistry.
That is exactly what The Broken Binding – an original Midwestern Folk band from the Ozark hills of Southwest Missouri – sound like, from a serious listener’s point of view.
Frontman and songwriter, James Green, has be performing for over 20 years with various bands in and around the Ozarks. While the The Broken Binding as a unit, don’t traditionally fit in to any one specific genre, blending shades of Indie Folk, Alt-Bluegrass, Country and Americana.
Though technically adept, it’s The Broken Binding chemistry that makes them hard to not root for, or feel deeply about. As a group they’ve rarely sounded so nimble and engaged, switching from mid-tempo swingers to up-tempo bangers and lush ballads, then back again.
Their new album, “Through The Night”, demonstrates a freshness and sense of verve and vitality as well. The impassioned storytelling and the musical vibrancy is also set to a high watermark level on this recording.
It’s easy to cite several examples right at the outset — the upbeat and effusive, opening title track “Through The Night”, the driven beat and the combative narrative filtered through “Adelaide”, or the slow-burning sentimental flourish of “Kissing Your Girl”.
Indeed, it’s echoed throughout the urgent marching beat of “Fire and Stone” which explodes and expands into a runaway rhythm. It’s persistently evident in the steadily picked backdrop of the emotional “These Black Eyes”.
From start to finish, “Through The Night” is an engaging album that distinguishes itself with song-to-song variety, detailed lyrics, and the power of James Green’s heartfelt vocals.
It’s palpable in the bittersweet reflection and winsome arrangement that underscores “Heaven Knows”, the affecting acoustic-string-fueled refrains of “I’ll Leave My Heart With You”, the breezy up-tempo folksiness heard throughout the thoughtful “Leave This World Behind”, and the banging electric rocker, “Tail Lights”.
While the band sticks to its core instruments, they successfully avoid the trap of making every song sound the same. This ebb and flow allows the group to show off their musical influences, as well as their own talents.
Beautifully crafted, the songs on “Through The Night”, show off great songwriting, excellent instrumentation, and superb singing, all the way around. The Broken Binding make music for all the right reasons. This is the music they make for themselves, and “Through The Night” is the privilege we get, to listen in.