The Broken West – who used to be called the Brokedown, when I saw them in 2006 at SXSW – have a very good debut album out on the Merge label called I Can’t Go On I’ll Go On, filled with lots of catchy songs in the jangly-guitar, harmony-vocals vein. Somewhere a little outside the realms of power pop, with something of a California sound. They put on a nice set Wednesday night at Schubas, with most of the songs from the debut CD, plus a couple of tracks from their earlier Brokedown EP and one unreleased song. They’re not (yet) the sort of band that makes the songs sound a lot better or more exciting in concert, but they do put on a nice performance. I showed up halfway through an opening set by Probably Vampires, who played tuneful pop music that bounced along to keyboard chords.
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