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Review: Broken Social Scene is Back with ‘Hug of Thunder’

The art rock collective comes through

BSSIndie rock favorites Broken Social Scene is back for the first time in seven years. The occasion is the new 12-track album Hug of Thunder. The band’s unique sound comes out to play in full force on their latest effort.

Sol Luna” is a stunning minute and a half instrumental intro song that relaxes the listener before diving into Track 2’s “Halfway Home.” It’s an upbeat rhythm perfect to listen to while working out or getting ready for a night out.

Things continue to pick up on “Protest Song” where the breathy vocals of female lead singer Emily Haines really shine. “Just take it/ We all left where we are from/ You’re just the latest/ In the long list of lost loves.” It screams coming to terms with bad adult decisions, choosing the wrong lovers and still trying to grow up.

Stay Happy” is a louder, in-your-face track with a very catchy back drop. Take the Glass Animals “Toes” with a more upbeat chorus and the listener is presented with “Stay Happy.” It’s the most infectious song on Hug of Thunder.

The title track is moody, extremely moody. It comes in a little over halfway through; reminiscing about a youthful summer ties in well with the albums’s theme.

Broken Social Scene features a plethora of members in their group. No song should sound the same given all the instruments and different vocal options.

It’s a nice change of pace to see a group where there isn’t an obvious lead. Upon hearing each song, the listener isn’t sure who’s voice will be on display. And it’s interesting to hear a heavy bass or acoustic guitar in one song and trumpets in another.

Hug of Thunder concludes with “Mouth Guards of the Apocalypse” in a tempo-heavy track. It takes well over half of the song for lyrics to be sung. And the song lets the listener down easy, informing them the album is almost over. It’s a smart move on BSS’s part, too.

Clocking in at almost six minutes, people want to hear how this song will end the album. Is it another instrumental piece or will the story actually end?

Fans that have been patiently waiting will rejoice hearing Hug of Thunder. Although, recruiting unfamiliar fans may take more convincing than this album alone.

Rating: 3.5/5

Stream: Broken Social Scene Hug of Thunder

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