Broken Social Scene - Hug Of Thunder
(Arts & Crafts)

Some big records coming this summer on the indie rock circuit. Not to be eclipsed by the forthcoming Arcade Fire LP, Canadian supergroup, and now the long-running project of almost 20 years, Broken Social Scene return with their first studio LP since 2010. Perhaps it takes seven years to regroup this behemoth but they’ve done it with all of the past contributors in check including: Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw of Metric, Amy Millan and Evan Cranley of Stars, Charles Spearin and Ohad Benchetrit of Do Make Say Think, and Leslie Feist.
While, Forgiveness Rock Record continued to capture the exuberance they are known for, the end result was somewhat bland, not feeling all that memorable. Thankfully, Hug Of Thunder rectifies that right from the get go. “Halfway Home” has some iron-clad melodies, a propulsive rhythm and some killer guitar parts by Charles Spearin and Andrew Whiteman. Feist’ contributes an excellent melody on “Stay Happy” alongside a warped chorus populated by heavy duty low-end synth and yes, a keytar. 
No one will ever accuse Broken Social Scene of being a minimalist band but they’ve once again cracked the code when it comes to maximizing instrumentation. Brendan Canning’s “Towers and Masons” is brimming with electric and acoustic guitars, woodwinds, loops, keys and multiple layers of vocals but none of it takes away from the sunny hooks and gorgeous atmospheres the song presents. Emily Haines’ shines in her own right as her soft but shimmering voice floats atop Kevin Drew’s thick tapestry of fuzz guitars and synths. 
Hug Of Thunder should be the ideal accompaniment for the rest of the summer. It’s truly a perfect return for this long running band of anthem slingers and it’s donned with the perfect title. Thunderous hugs all around. (Dom)
Check out a track here