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Broken Spindles

Rock dudes who make minimalist electronic music on the side ought to be lined up, bent over, and savagely molested with a 12-disc Philip Glass box set until they bawl like Michael Jackson's paperboy. Thankfully, Omaha's indie-dance outfit the Faint isn't exactly a rock band, and the group's bassist, Joel Petersen, doesn't exactly make minimalist electronic music. Close, though: Under the name Broken Spindles, Petersen composes fidgety, MIDI-conducted scribbles and loops that buy into the whole "I'm playing the space between the notes" crap. And yet, Fulfilled/Complete actually does, um, fulfill and complete the promise shown on the project's self-titled 2002 debut; the new album adds vocals, strings, and a few extra I-beams of structure and melody to Broken Spindles' sparse architecture. The result is surprisingly compelling, with actual songs and hooks poking out from behind a gauze of pixilated fuzz.

Despite all the digital delicacy, "Italian Wardrobe" is one of a couple of cuts on Fulfilled that hint at Petersen's rock roots; its sinister synth riff and clanging, futuristic guitar will make a great theme song for the first James Bond flick of the Hillary Clinton administration. In fact, the whole disc could be seen as a practice run for a lucrative career in scoring movies that Petersen will surely embark upon after the Faint's retro-Nine Inch Nails shtick goes belly-up. Until then, fire up the camcorder in your mind and allow Broken Spindles to provide the perfect soundtrack to sleeping in late, taking long walks down dark alleys, or enjoying a particularly great shower. Joel Petersen, release your ankles: You have been spared. -- Jason Heller


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