The Broken West I Can't Go On, I'll Go On

As one of the newest additions to Merge Records, great things are expected from Los Angeles’ the Broken West. They made some waves as the Brokedown, thanks to their self-released EP, The Dutchman’s Gold, but then had to change their name after the threat of a lawsuit from punk band the Brokedowns. Ironically enough, while their name might now sound more distinct, their music, at times, could quite easily be mistaken for label-mates Teenage Fanclub’s. Still, there are many worse bands to get confused by and most of I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On comes across like a mid-career album rather than a debut, thanks to the conviction of the band’s execution. It isn’t all glorious harmonies and layers of melodic guitars though, as the band does go beyond the realm of power-pop. Songs like "Shiftee” have a subtle country influence that finds the middle ground between mid-era Wilco and the Flying Burrito Brothers, while other moments are reminiscent of Wheat and A.C. Newman. All in all, a good mix. Even at this early point in the year, I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On isn’t the most original album of 2007 but it is rather enjoyable and that still counts for something. (Merge)