Features Reviews

Feature: Broken Social Scene

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Not sure what this VFTA malarkey is all about? See here. To Listen along with Ben, BSS”™ Forgiveness Rock Record is on Spotify.

So, the millennium is suddenly ten years old, and the initial growing pains and troubles have been dealt with, and everyone is left looking forward in collective optimism. How apt it is then that the bands that carried the people through the bad times, remain as the soundtrack to their lives ten years on.

In 2010, Broken Social Scene continues to shine a light through the darkness.

Having released their forth studio album, Forgiveness Rock Record in May of this year, the Canadian mass ensemble seem to have created not just another skilled blend of sounds and emotions, but also a hugely credible indie-rock album. As a collection, Forgiveness Rock Record is arguably the band”™s most accessible album yet, and certainly has a mood for any listener.

Opening with the epic and achingly beautiful World Sick, it is also noticeable that the group has perfected some true anthems here. As a gentle guitar refrain meanders against an ethereal pulsing rhythm, the chanting lyrics break in, just as the guitar sprinkles off, up into the atmosphere, culminating in a ”˜smile on the face, hands in the air”™ moment of bliss. Similar moments occur in Texico Bitches and inverse romantic ballad, Sweetest Kill.

On the flip side, the band quicken the tempo and apply the brass section on tracks such as Art House Director, Forced To Love and the awe inspiring instrumental Meet Me In The Basement, to generate a wall of sound that manages to blow you away in such a charming way.

However, the true gem of the collection is All To All; an interstellar blast that fuses together everything that the band, and their previous work, is all about, dream like emotional escapism. It achieves this euphoria through its use of tinkling guitar and synth effects, with the addition of a crisp drum machine beat, laced with mouth watering vocals.

The most striking element of this current album is the transition Broken Social Scene has made, and the path that led them to it. As one trawls through the unique band”™s back catalogue, one cannot help but be amazed at just how different each collection appears; From the wispy instrumental debut, through the dark You Forgot It In People, and eventually landing in the anthemic power house of sound and feeling that they find themselves in today. This journey has molded the group from being simply another experimental indie band, to becoming fully fledged artists. After years of lulling the listener through a sweet dream, Broken Social Scene have finally escaped and now exist within their own sun soaked dream.

Ben Hawling