The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Girlie Action

Reviewed by Margaret Moser, April 11, 2008, Music

Southern Drama's Little Broken is the most compelling recording to cross this desk in weeks. Their debut shoots out from under the radar near where Austin's Erik & the She-Wolves, Luna Tart, and Mr. Lewis & the Funeral 5 come out to play. There's a vague element of Loreena McKennitt twirling with Tom Waits in rich, arcane compositions like "A Killer Waltz on Thin Ice," and kitschiness abounds on "1920's Song," but Little Broken is a marvelous soundtrack for the Friday-night-alone blues. Maggie Walters' Midwestern Hurricane isn't as gale-force as the title suggests. The local songstress kicks up a good bit of dust with solid compositions and traditional themes of love and loss, but it feels as though she's trying too hard with clichéd phrases like "fuck-me pumps." The disc's pristine production comes courtesy of Paul Leary with Walters' breathy promise that while this isn't a sophomore slump (more like the title track, please), her third time at bat will slam it home. Aimee Bobruk presents a notable debut with The Safety Match Journal. It's something to please Cowboy Junkies fans, given Bobruk's dreamy, Timmins-esque vocal languor and the CJ's Kim Deschamps on steel. Bobruk's songwriting recently left the folk-pop cocoon and tries out its muted-color wings with gorgeous instrumentation and a flutter of hesitancy. Like Walters, Bobruk brims with potential and plenty of time to test the waters.

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