Thursday, July 14, 2016

Broccoli - Home LP - Black Vinyl & Clear Vinyl (/100)


Drunken Sailor (2016, Reissue)

It is somewhat rare that I get to write about the records that have been most important to me over the years. Occasionally there will be a reissue or a wacky variant of some Rocket From The Crypt record that I have hunted down, but the records that are most important to me are usually ones that have been in my collection for many, many years. Home by Broccoli is one of these records. It is one of the best records I have ever heard in my entire life. You know those people that like to make those 'Desert Island Disc' lists where they talk about the records they couldn't live without. If I was so inclined to make a silly list like that, it would absolutely, one hundred percent have Home on it. This is one of my five favorite records of all time and I think you could make the argument that they may be one of the most overlooked bands that has ever been.

Sure, I will admit that's a lot of hyperbole for an opening paragraph, but I need you to understand how fundamentally important this record is for me. I started listening to Leatherface because of Broccoli, not the other way around like most folks. Granted, it wasn't this particular album that pushed me towards Leatherface, but Broccoli was already an influential band to me before they release Home in 1998. In 1997 my friend Alan and I went to England for a trip of record shopping and band watching. In addition to picking up a ton of Leatherface and Mega City Four records, we got to see some amazing bands like Chopper, Skimmer, Crocodile God and Starmarket. The other band we got to see was a pre-Home Broccoli opening up for Metroschifter in Leeds. Twenty years on, my memory of this show isn't quite as sharp as I would like, but considering the bomb that Broccoli dropped the following year with Home, I'm so grateful I had that chance to see them play, if only once.

Home is a once in a lifetime sort of record. Sure, you can hit on some easy to digest touchstones like that they are a melodic punk band with leanings towards raspy vocals and an obvious fondness for Leatherface. But is there anything I can write that can truly convey the hugeness of the hook in the song "Chestnut Road?" It's a hook so powerful a band from France named themselves after the song. Can I make you understand the way it makes me feel when that the guitar distortion kicks in right before the chorus of "I Am A Robot?" Are there even words in the English language that can describe how much I just fucking love every single second of "R.S.V.P.?" We're only though the 4th track on this beast of an album and already I feel like my vocabulary is painfully inadequate to try to make you understand just how important this record is to me.

Home has been out of print for years. The label that originally put it out, Rugger Bugger, called it a day many moons ago. Broccoli broke up not too long after this record came out. This is the record that should have made Broccoli one of the most loved and respected bands in the world, but for whatever reason it just didn't pan out that way. Drunken Sailor should be commended for stepping up and bringing this record back to the world.

Home should quite simply be a mandatory addition to anyone's record collection that even remotely likes this sort of punk rock. Yeah, they're better than Jawbreaker and every bit as good as Leatherface. I'll say it and you will never convince me otherwise. Broccoli has also announced that they are getting back together for a tour of Japan. I don't know if that will ever lead anywhere,. I don't know if we'll ever get more shows or another record, but it gives me just a bit of hope that perhaps others will have a chance to experience what Broccoli did for me 20 some odd years ago. Go buy this record right now and if you happen to have their two demo tapes or a Broccoli T-shirt, please email me and sell them to me.

Broccoli - Home:

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