River Mirrors - Infinity Broke (Come To The Dark Side Luke)
Infinity Broke is the new vehicle for Sydney’s Jamie Hutchings and Jared Harrison, post the dissolution of Bluebottle Kiss. They were longtime acerbic indie fixtures on the Australian scene before Hutchings decided to go solo so the air is misty with expectation.
The first thing to say is that the self-released “River Mirrors” sounds superb. It was recorded in a shearing shed on a sheep property with a live ambience and stark glow.
Up-front percussion stands out in stripped-back arrangements that highlight Hutchings’ jagged, sometimes atonal guitar sounds. There’s a harsh edge to the songs that pitches them into psychedelic territory. With two drummer/percussionists (Harrison and Scott Hutchings) on board the accent is on feels and, er, accents.
“No Mirrors Here” and the opening “Gallows Queue” are the closest Infinity Broke go to “radio-friendly” - even though some well placed black humour would probably do them in on that front. It’s the epic “Monsoon” that should row your boat. It’s an 11-plus minute opus that rides a nagging bass-line and simple backbeat - not unlike the unreleased Television gem “Persia.” (You’ll need to have seen them live or have access to contemporary bootleg recordings to have a clue about that reference point.)
Jamie Hutchings weaves a vocal narrative before the song elevates to another level, with handclaps and snare beats weaving between discordant, barbed wire guitar and guttural vocal squalls. Ruben Wills’ ominous bass-line becomes the sole anchor point before a return to earth. It’s easily the best thing on the record and in a class of its own.
The closing “Termites” explores similar territory over its nine minutes with a female vocal assist, without hitting the same heights. With songs as substantial as it and “Monsoon”, however, you have to wonder what two minutes of sound effects masquerading as a song title (“Water”) are doing here.
Psychedelic is perhaps an over-used term so excuse its application here. It’s not just to do with drugs in the musical sense, more an intent to at least temporarily alter a state of mind. That’s clearly where Infinity Broke wants to take you.
“River Mirrors” is an absorbing and sometimes self-absorbed listen, full of dark patches and pinpoints of light. Such is the nature of the psychedelic beast.