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Broken Testimony - Holding On To Nothing

Broken Testimony
Holding On To Nothing
by Jon Conant at 12 August 2018, 11:36 PM

Newly arrived rockers out of South Carolina BROKEN TESTIMONY are here, and they’ve brought their debut full length effort “Holding On To Nothing” with them. And, now that they’re here, somebody tell them they should probably head on over to 2007 where their album will be relevant. I say that as simultaneously gently and critically as possible. It’s not that it’s particularly awful, there’s some catchy songs and these guys are competent musicians aside from some shaky vocals (granted I get a very stylistic sense from that as well), it’s just lacking in every sense. The production is dated and the mix is off, and to go with it cliched and uninspired songwriting which sounds like a hand me down version of all your favorite rock bands from the previous decade.

I would love to hear them get the production up somewhere closer to 2018 standards, ditch the grunge clean vocals and generic hard rock choruses, and focus more on the parts where they do find some catchy and groovy metal riffs rooted in solid harsh vocals. Parts like the back half of “Unknown” and part of the ending of “Vitality”, and pretty much all of  “Medusa”, which was basically the best song on the album. The overall approach was stronger and more unique there, with a more aggressive sound and less of an uninspired grunge rock vibe. The clean vocals were the strongest as well (with plenty of harsh vocals too).

They had four tracks interspersed through the album that were all atmospheric concept tracks, some with barely discernible and epic sounding speech vocals at times, like someone giving a speech or talking through an old television. These were all melodic, moving, well crafted pieces of art that created a very cool vibe. They remind me of the interlude tracks in “A Thousand Suns”, which is neat. Also the riff at the very beginning of  “Blessing” is super fucking cool, and then also the guitar and harsh vocals after the first clean vocals bit. Possibly the strongest part of the album. So, that’s nice. Bummer it goes to a cliche chorus with painfully pitchy clean vocals.

Overall? Not a great album sheerly because of how dated and unoriginal it is. There’s nothing new or special happening here, so while it’s not terrible, it’s not anything that’s going to win over a lot of people that don’t already have a pretty specific reason to like them. But, in the band’s own words:

Confidence is key, boys.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

1. We Never Learned from our Mistakes
2. Control
3. One Day
4. Fade Away
5. Instead We Hid from Them, Just Like Our Fears
6. Blessing
7. Medusa
8. We Smoke Them Away, Thinking They Will Burn Off
9. Unknown
10. Vitality
11. But They Just Stain Who We Are Inside
Bryce Chism – Drums
Judge Page – Vocals, Lead Guitar
Justin King – Bass
Nik Delvaux – Rhythm Guitar
Record Label: Thermal Entertainment


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Edited 28 March 2023

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