Broken Social Scene
Hug of Thunder


4.5
superb

Review

by owl beanie STAFF
July 5th, 2017 | 252 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: hey Sput user, you're still like family to me; no matter what you leave down there in the comments

Let’s begin at a distance, then: Hug of Thunder has seen it all – every tectonic societal shift, every paradise and every tragedy has been a part of its purview. Every season, every reaction to every experience, every fleeting moment spent on top of the world is captured and distilled by these songs. Broken Social Scene are that band: a band that thinks in spectrums, that makes a point of filling the gaps left behind, a band that considers and creates everything.

My experiences with Broken Social Scene – temperamental or otherwise – always remain to make things bigger; more triumphant. Like the objects in my car’s broken rear-view mirror, these looming pieces of music shake and swell, focus and unfocus; so obviously stitched together by a band that simply should not work. There aren’t enough metaphors cobbled together in the English language to explain why something so vast, so patently spirited, can push against its threadbare seams without spilling out over the ideas it stemmed from, but brevity can’t even begin to illustrate it either.

So, pithiness first. Hug of Thunder will never exist solely unto you. It isn’t part of a dialogue and it sure as hell isn’t trapped in the same languid delirium that you (I) are (am). It is above us yet looking down empathetically. Towering, a celebration of nothing and yet, a far-reaching approximation of the human condition.

Of course, if you are skeptical of the ensemble’s attempts to bring everything and everyone together, holding hands on the same plane, the record materialises with Sol Luna -- Sun and Moon -- the band extending their embrace around the cosmic details. It stays that way for 52 minutes – 15 members, 7 years, a million ideas; proliferating and rattling against each other with fervour and not a tangible destination in mind.

Have you noticed? You must have. I said I’d be succinct, but I couldn’t possibly organise my thoughts on this record neatly. I'm sorry.

Which, again, begs the question: How on Earth did the band do it? Halfway Home, the lofty and indomitable thing that it is, feels touched by every personality that has passed through the revolving door of BSS members since their inception, and it stays standing. Staggering, maybe, but standing nonetheless. I think it’s because Hug of Thunder is the product of unity, not hierarchy. Leaders are only “semi-leaders”, the process is a democratic one. Scene offshoots (a society in itself) return home to find that their old room has been left untouched out of fondness for their memory.

Altogether, all as it should be.

On the subject of home: such a vital sense of family means this record starts and ends in the same place. It runs through emotions like a breathless person wandering through an airport, capturing that very human dichotomy -- it’s exciting to see the world, but it’s just as exciting to see your family again. Please Take Me With You waves bittersweet from the terminal and Stay Happy is there waiting, weeks later, with a toothy grin and a welcome home sign.

And lo, even in moments of levity, there is that cogent spirit of communion. The title track, a sort of aesthetic counterpoint to Halfway Home, has the entire collective gather providently around Leslie Feist (!!!) for a hushed recount of pointillistic nostalgia. Someone chimes in with a plodding bassline; others respond politely, reassuringly with a mosaic of ambient squeaks and squawks.

The point is, this thing isn't actually about nothing, it's about how togetherness is meant to be celebrated and about how there is always a song to accompany that celebration. There’s always a Mouth Guards of the Apocalypse to celebrate genuine human connection, there’s always a Halfway Home to carouse the overcoming of adversity, and there’s always this album to remind you of how fucking beautiful music can be.

Welcome home.



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user ratings (217)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2017


42517 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

"Leaders are only “semi-leaders”, the process is a democratic one, Scene offshoots (a society in itself) return home to find that their old room has been left untouched out of fondness for their memory. "



second comma was meant to be a full stop I think?



otherwise best review best user best band/collective 5/5 forever rick and morty 100 years

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen

McMegaMountain
July 5th 2017


294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love this album.

verdant
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2017


2423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

oh yes that works better thank you rowan you hero! i love!!!



same mc, so great

butcherboy
July 5th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

one pos in a long line.. cheers, jack, on point as always..

verdant
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2017


2423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

butcher thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou you're the best

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2017


24946 Comments


hey fam (:

will read when I get time my man...this is a band I've been meaning to get into for awhile

verdant
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2017


2423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

take your time conman, make listening to this a top priority though :DDD

AsleepInTheBack
July 5th 2017


6006 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Damn. Beautiful beautiful review mate, good job

Gyromania
July 5th 2017


28588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love your reviews. You have a way with words.



Pretty excited to listen to this.

verdant
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2017


2423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thank you both of you!! i need your positivity in my life (:

guitarded_chuck
July 5th 2017


18035 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

perfectly summery album, a bit poppy but still true to form, exceeded expectations

verdant
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2017


2423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

glad u like

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2017


8117 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Damn Jack we usually agree but this is the most bored I've been with an album this year

Digging: Cursive - Get Fixed

zaruyache
July 5th 2017


21393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

;______________________________;

Digging: Death Toll 80k - Step Down

verdant
Staff Reviewer
July 6th 2017


2423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

uh oh alex i can see where you coming from, this is inclusive yet elusive. stay with it if you can be bothered, it could pay off like it did for me (:

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
July 6th 2017


3045 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

< 3

Digging: Lil Tracy - Anarchy

verdant
Staff Reviewer
July 6th 2017


2423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

blushful makin me blushful once again

Winesburgohio
Staff Reviewer
July 6th 2017


2689 Comments


B) 8) B}

Digging: Imogen Heap - Speak For Yourself

Bannerless
July 6th 2017


1 Comments


"it’s exciting to see the world, but it’s just as exciting to see your family again"

Hell of a review, excellent writing. Looking forward to hearing the record- BSS has always been my favorite of the 2000s indie rock wave.

verdant
Staff Reviewer
July 6th 2017


2423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thank you bannerless! thanks for choosing this for your first comment, i'm honoured. welcome to the site :~)



also, wines: same



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