Straight outta Omaha, Joel Petersen made his name playing bass for the Faint -- but his side project, Broken Spindles, is every bit as intriguing as his main gig. The Spindles' self-titled debut, issued in 2002, comprises a series of trippy numbers that pit electronics from yesterday and today against good ol' guitars wielded by cohort A.J. Mogis. Even many of Petersen's admirers likened the tunes to soundtrack fodder, which is partly his fault. By dubbing one piece "The Love of Foreign Film," he made himself seem like a Danny Elfman wannabe, and "A Dinner Party Ambience" further implied that he was merely creating new-age sounds for the black-nail-polish crowd. In truth, Broken Spindles is far too smart to easily recede into the background, and so are the top tunes on Fulfilled/Complete, the Spindles' sophomore foray, recently released by the Saddle Creek imprint. "Move Away" is an electro throwback that's simultaneously amusing and ominous, and if "Induction" is more soundscape than song, its rich atmosphere, enhanced by a sweep of string substitutes, offers ample compensation. Petersen's on to something with Broken Spindles, whose music isn't only for the faint of heart.
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