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It’s been a long time since the world heard from Dan Melchior’s Broke Revue. Their last album, O Clouds Unfold!, was recorded in 2004 and was posthumously released in 2009. During their five year existence, the band’s sound evolved from raw, blues-based rock ’n’ roll to a more experimental / post-punk style. Since the band disbanded, Melchior has carried on with a solo career that has been prolific, to say the very least. The volume of singles, albums and cassettes that he’s churned out over the past decade has been staggering.
Now, after a ten-year hiatus, Melchior has reassembled the Broke Revue and (in record time) recorded a new album. Lords of the Manor takes a very different turn from the band’s last album. O Clouds Unfold! was an voluminous showcase of Melchior’s infectious and melodic songwriting, with layers of extra instrumentation spanning 23 songs. Lords of the Manor is an entirely different beast; song structure and instrumentation are stripped to the bare bones, melody is ditched in favor of repetition, Dan’s usual lyrical style is jettisoned for a far more minimal approach and the band’s previous penchant for tightly-crafted two-to-three-minute rock songs has given way to long, sprawling improvisations. The result is dark, relentless and incredible.