The Broken Family Band

Welcome Home, Loser

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The Broken Family Band pursue a twisted form of rootsy Americana so convincingly that first-time listeners will assume that they're from New Mexico, like the Handsome Family, or maybe rural southern California like the first generation of country-rockers. In fact, the Broken Family Band are from that noted alt-country mecca of Cambridge, England, and they are a long-running side project by members of various third-string British indie bands. But that doesn't keep Welcome Home, Loser from being one of the most entertaining country-rock hybrids to come down the pike in some time. The key to the band is singer/songwriter Steven Adams, whose lyrics blend the angsty character studies of Will Oldham with the rueful, sarcastic wit of Kirsty MacColl; the sardonic "Wherever You Go," with its oddly catchy chorus "Welcome home, loser/You let us down again," is the album's key statement. Other highlights include the honky tonk kiss-off "We Already Said Goodbye," the giggly "Living in Sin" (a charmingly goofy tune about the perils of having a Satanist for a girlfriend), and the unexpectedly dramatic, Mercury Rev-like country-psych closer, "Coping with Fear."

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