The barrels of cheer available on the second album from Edinburgh sextet Broken Records might be apparent from the influences singer Jamie Sutherland cited in the summer: Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska, Nick Cave's Murder Ballads, as well as films such as Badlands. Although a dazzling live band, Broken Records are hampered by a range than stretches from "windswept" to "storm-tossed". For all that Sutherland's lyrics are largely impenetrable beneath the layers of guitars and organ and violin, one senses elemental misery is the theme. Or sometimes, as on Dia dos Namorados!, the elements and misery, as Sutherland pleads: "Bury me beneath the tides/ In the shallow shore, in the filth and grime." So epic is everything that Let Me Come Home exhausts as much as it exhilarates, and Sutherland's stern baritone is more of an instrument for instructing than caressing. There's a genuinely amazing band in here somewhere, but they are still trying to find a way to make themselves heard to best advantage.
Michael Hann is a freelance writer, and former music editor of the Guardian