Broken Past is a New Jersey headquartered quartet first formed by bassist Tony Rodriguez in 2015. Their first studio offering emerged in 2019, the EP Time for Change, and the band continues riding the considerable momentum this release has generated for them since. The single “Some Gave All” and its music video are a notable success for the band and even a cursory hearing or viewing of those releases reveals why. Broken Past convened for this recording and video alike with an unshakable idea of what message they wanted to convey, what realities they wanted to explore. On that score, “Some Gave All” is a stirring success.
It has undoubted anthemic qualities. Another remarkable accomplishment for this song is how it embraces that anthemic style without ever succumbing to the same ham-fisted theatrics plaguing anthems from dimmer lights. I hear every ounce of the passion Broken Past has for those who paid the highest price defending their county’s interests in both Frank Acee’s singing and the three musicians providing support that holds nothing back. They obviously want their musical statement to be worthy of its subject and the extended running time they allow themselves developing the track’s potential pays off handsomely for listeners.
It also affords them space to showcase the band’s instrumental talents. Wayne White’s lead guitar playing never comes across as overwrought but, instead, soars with melodic fluency over an assortment of peaks and valleys in the arrangement. The tempo changes prove their talent for turning in radically different directions on a dime, never missing a step, and the inevitable return to earlier musical territory is every bit as seamless.
Broken Past provides the listeners with solid writing as well. The words for “Some Gave All” retain the same laser focus we hear from the music and spare the listener nothing. They show the wages of war in a dispassionate way and are rife with full on horror shorn of any pseudo poetry. This is a band who understand the proper function of lyrics in a song and resist any wont to overelaborate with excessive writing. The onus is on the listener to envision the scenes and characters they sketch out for us and I’m grateful for it.
The video mentioned in the review’s opening paragraph deserves your attention. It amplifies the message behind the single, much more so thanks to the inclusion of the war battle footage running throughout the video, but Broken Past never lays it on too thick. We are offered a glimpse of what they must be like in a live setting thanks to the performance footage included in the music video and the graveside clips are deeply affecting.
It isn’t difficult to support the message behind “Some Gave All”. The most important part of this is that the band never adopts any surprisingly strident positions beyond extolling the virtues of those who lost their lives in military service and decrying the general horror of war. Broken Past has delivered a song quite worthy of its topic and it will linger in your thoughts long after it concludes.