Broken Spindles

Inside/Absent

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The third album from Broken Spindles -- the solo project of the Faint's Joel Petersen -- is a joyless experience. Best described as hackneyed art rock, Inside/Absent is a challenge to get through, from "Inward," the unusual piano piece that opens the set, to bleak, horror-esque tunes like "Desaturated." While it isn't all morose, Broken Spindles' electronic basement pop feels tedious when it's accessible. Tunes like "This Is an Introduction," (which finds Petersen singing about moving his girlfriend across the country into his new house, only to leave out on tour, causing an irreconcilable rift between the pair) just aren't "A-list" enough to quantify this as a hit and miss assortment. A song like "Birthday" is no celebration, as Petersen mopes his way though the realities of aging. The guy puts it best in his own prose, as he sings, "It's hard for people to get close to me when I'm so distant." He's not friggin' kidding.

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