Their first new work in three years, Broadcast's Pendulum EP opts for a looser, noisier, and more abstract sound than anything they issued during The Noise Made by People era. Much like the Extended Play EPs that preceded that album, Pendulum finds the band pushing their music to extremes, but this time the results are much more polarized. With its rock drums, harsh synth tones, pulsing bass, and angular melody, "Pendulum" almost sounds like it could be a collaboration with Clinic; the song shares the same eerie magnetism and grotto-like ambience of that band's best work. While Trish Keenan's vocals sound better when she has room to swoon, enough unearthly prettiness remains to keep the track within the realm of Broadcast's universe (though, admittedly, near its outer limits). Similarly, "One Hour Empire," "Violent Playground," and "Minus Two" feature some of the noisiest beats and most arrhythmic, atonal keyboards the group has ever used. On the flip side, this less-structured approach also applies to soft, pretty moments like "Small Song IV," which sends clouds of fuzzy synths drifting across Keenan's languid singing; "Still Feels Like Tears" is both direct and ethereal, with a surprisingly straightforward rhythm section and a lovely, weightless melody. On this EP -- and, presumably, the album it precedes -- Broadcast ruffles and musses the pristine gorgeousness of their music; even though these songs are no less meticulously crafted than their previous work, Pendulum's built-in asymmetry and imperfections make it that much more intriguing.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares