A Successful Throwback

When the Lifted Connive (St. Ives Records)
Broadfield Marchers

By Kory Wilcoxson

Hard work and persistence has paid off for the Louisville group Broadfield Marchers.

The band - brothers Dustin (vocals and guitar) and Mark (bass and backing vocals) Zdobylak and drummer Justin Carter - have been playing together in various incarnations since high school (the current lineup has been together since 2000). During that time, the Marchers have compiled a couple hundred songs in their musical vault, but lacked an avenue to get their work into the hands of the masses.

Thanks to a two-year relationship with the Secretly Canadian label, the Marchers can now display the fruits of their labor in the form of When the Lifted Connive, a 13-song effort that the bands hopes will be the first of many forays into the local rock scene.

The band grabs your attention from the opening chords of the first song, "Committee of Saints." Dustin lays down a meaty riff that could easily lead into any number of arena rock anthems, yet when Mark comes in on the vocals, you'll be checking the copyright date. Is this album from 2006 or 1966? Immediately the Marchers' sound evokes memories of late Sixties free love psychedelic rock.

A good example is the second track, "Greases of Freedom." The driving guitar would fit neatly on just about any Who album and Mark's lofty vocal range brings to mind seminal groups like the Byrds. Toss in Dustin's backing harmony and the Marchers embody just about everything good about that classic rock style.

But the band doesn't only live in the past. They claim Syd Barret and Robert Pollard as influences and the comparisons to Guided by Voices should come fast and furious. One of the traits the Marchers share with GBV is a stream of simple, short songs. There's nothing on Connive that gets in the way of this trio's musical vision and their unencumbered approach on songs like "Harriet Nice" and "Can't Miss the Show."

While the band may invite numerous comparisons, nothing they do on "Connive" is mimicry. They are able to bring to mind a number of great bands while still maintaining their own identity.

"Kingdom for Lions" is a great example of this. The song starts with Carter's drumsticks a-flyin' and Dustin laying down a catchy groove. The song features a few tempo changes, a staple technique used throughout "Connive," which keeps the songs engaging and fresh. In the end, you feel like you've heard some of this before, but somehow it doesn't feel old. The quality of this debut makes me eager to see what else the Broadfield Marchers have to offer.

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