Review – The Broken Bicycles – Physics of Sound

The Broken Bicycles' Physics of Sound

By Kristine Volovsek

Minneapolis based indie-rock band The Broken Bicycles has greatly evolved and changed since their acoustic-duo inception in May of 2010. Currently, the band consists of Turkeyes Laffity (lead vocals, accordion), Thomas Maddux (vocals, guitar, ukulele, banjo), Kelsey Wefald (percussion, drums), and Jason McLaughlin (vocals, bass). Released on the Old Fashioned Records label, Physics of Sound is the band’s 4th album.

Including one about Laffity and Maddux’s relationship, the 5 songs on this album were selected from The Broken Bicycles’ previous 3 albums and updated with the band’s newfound electricity. Laffity’s voice perfectly withstands the transition from acoustical ukulele-and-banjo-driven songs to indie-rock. Her voice is a key component to The Broken Bicycles sound. I prefer Maddux’s voice in the older versions, but when Physics of Sound needs vocal harmonies he delivers (Maddux’s vocals rightfully gain the spotlight in his other band El Le Faunt & His Traveling Circus). Wefald’s percussion is perpetually on point and enjoyable throughout and McLaughlin’s bass balances out the sound.

At times the lyrics are hard for me to hear, but I’m the type of listener who generally gets distracted from lyrics by the other parts of songs. Thankfully, they’re available on their Bandcamp site. Wefald and McLaughlin help give The Broken Bicycles a bigger, more powerful sound; I continually get caught up in the drums and with the bass. Physics of Sound also feels much darker than the other albums, and I think it is totally working for them. I like the direction The Broken Bicycles is going, and will definitely listen to their next release.

Starting last week, The Broken Bicycles is part of a “MinneSeries” at The Nomad World Pub. I can totally picture bike scenesters, can of PBR in hand, bobbin’ their heads to the songs from Physics of Sound. Catch The Broken Bicycles every Thursday in April (April 11, 18 and 25).

Listen to Physics of Sound here:


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