Broadview is a three piece pop rock outfit out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Produced by Jordan Voth (Bleed American, Dangercat) Close Your Eyes is their third EP. The band plays a type of rock that harkens back to the glory days of groups like Yellowcard, Good Charlotte, and even a little Blink-182; it’s melodic hard rock, backed by driving rhythms and chugging guitar power chords that build to big sing-along choruses.
What Broadview lack in originality, they make up for with their tight grooves and strong melodies. The opening song “Memories” has a decidedly nostalgic feel to it with its driving opening riff and lyrics about summer love that is now lost. Unfortunately, the pounding drums and guitars slightly overpower the lead vocals which makes it hard for them to be clearly heard, which is too bad because the lead singer Drew Mitchell is quite good. The mix is more balanced as the album goes on, but the vocals should definitely have been pushed up a little.
“Common Sense” is the album’s best song, and is elevated by a great vocal opening riff peppered with crunchy electric guitar and, surprisingly, some synths as well. It really showcases what the band can do when all the elements come together. That being said, some of this also seems to work against them as they stick to the same formula throughout, never taking any risks or getting into anything deeper than the aforementioned melodic pop rock. Keeping the sound this simple can be a hard line to tread, as there is only a thin difference between milking a winning formula and sounding recycled and uninspired. Take “Keep Singing,” a track about virtually nothing, where the band shouts, “Whoa oh!” emphatically on the chorus. It’s all loud and in your face, but is also very formulaic. The lyrics are weak and the song just comes off as a cheesy attempt at an arena rocker. The same goes for “Make A Sound,” another track with a huge-sounding chorus; though it is well executed, the lyrical themes of unity and fighting back have all been done many times before.
Close Your Eyes is a well-executed and expertly produced EP that does a great job of playing to Broadview’s strengths, yet is shallow in its content. There are some good hooks, but no real standout moments, especially where the lyrics are concerned: they are way too broad and unoriginal to evoke any real connection with the listener. I still think that the Vans-wearing, tattooed crowd will find some enjoyment with this band, though I hope they can show some more depth with their subsequent releases.
Written by Ben Massicotte
*edited by Kate Erickson