Harley Broughton is a triple threat: solo musician as well as recording and mixing engineer. Being an artist since 16, Broughton wanted to write, record and produce music that would be creative and inspiring as well as to challenge himself. After going to audio school, Broughton didn’t want to follow the norm of the typical pop scene of country, rap or hip-hop. He wanted to make progressive rock with influences of Rush, Yes and King Crimson while adding more modern prog music like God is an Astronaut and Monomyth.
Intermission opens with the ominous track “Fit of Fiths (Act I).” It pays homage to the avant garden to the metal band Ephemeral Sun’s Lord of Hounds which is the inspiration behind Intermission as a whole. Here Broughton showcases his brilliance, as the arrangements grow more elaborate across the 11 minutes. It’s an intriguing instrumental track that keeps your attention the whole time with the way Broughton orchestrates the instrumentation.
“Dancing Stalin (Act II)” adds a little more funk giving it more bounce for listeners to breathe. What makes this song even more fun is that it was intended as a joke. Broughton writes, “At first the idea was of a marionette dressed like Joseph Stalin dancing on stage as the song chugs along in a somewhat jagged manner.” It switches it up as a funk instrumental and a more defined rock setting with synths. It’s a fun instrumental for sure. The following track “GARGNCHEW1N (Act III)” is pretty metal. “Final Curtain (Act IV)” is as the name suggests the conclusion of the album and ends as the grand finale.
Harley Broughton understands that his taste in music is opposite that of the mainstream. It’s strange and probably too bizarre for everyone. But just because it’s too unique for regular radio doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be heard. When you listen to Intermission it’s a wonderful rock opera with Broughton as the twisted composer. The four-song EP feels more like seven to eight songs cause of their length. While songs are long, he breaks up the monotony that can come with an instrumental album by having well placed synths and he lets tracks breathe with some funky guitar solos adding depth to the album. Compared to other Broughton’s albums that Divide and Conquer has reviewed, he has grown as an artist. Broughton even states that Intermission is only a sample representation of how his methods of recording and mixing have evolved. There’s more to come in the future from this ambitious artist.
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