Broughton's Rules / Bounty Hunter 1853 12"
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Pittspurgh's Broughton's Rules offer an intriguing survey of instrumental post-rock on their 2010 debut,Bounty Hunter 1853, often coming across like a somewhat more subtle, sophisticated, and altogether less hillbilly-creepy Karma to Burn. Deceptively tense, yet mesmerizing instrumentals like the title cut, "Disaster of the Week," "Moonsick," and "El Indio" best exemplify these qualities, including martial drumming, growling bass and guitar riffs, plus counterpoint melodic guitar lines picked clean and circular. But the group also wheels out a microphone for the gently murmured vocals of "Broadside," shows a taste for electronics on the languid "Childhood Sun," and a flair for prog rock invention wed to Motorik grooves on the epic "Nightsmoker" and, to a lesser degree, "Ghost Heavy Days." Thus, they manage to keep things interesting for most of the album's hour-plus duration, but one is rarely blown away, so perhaps holding something back and cutting the program short would have made for an even better strategy. Nevertheless, Broughton's Rules appear poised to mine this particular template with their evident creativity for some time, and it's entirely possible their next effort will take them from goodness to greatness.