Review: Broken Social Scene, “Let’s Try the After Vol 1”

Broken Social Scene

Longtime fans can rejoice in some triumphant and classic sounding BSS.

Canada’s favorite super-band Broken Social Scene return this Friday with a new EP called Let’s Try the After.  The cut and paste layered cover art looks like a mash-up of their last two full lengths; 2017’s Hug of Thunder and 2010’s Forgiveness Rock Record.  As an old fan, I’m really excited for this… Let’s go through it track by track…

Sweet Sea – A very brief, mellow instrumental. An introduction for the listener. It washes over you and cleans your senses before vanishing.

Remember Me Young – Another instrumental but, with a killer beat and clean guitar lead, counterbalanced by symphonic recesses.  I’m a little underwhelmed by the choice to begin the proceedings with 2 instrumentals. Having said that, both are pleasant songs and there seems to be a progression in tempo and pace.

Boyfriends – Lyrics! Finally! This track is what I’ve been waiting for.  The Kevin Drew’s chorus is boisterous like a house party and the entire song is layered like your aunts Christmas trifle. Each listen will provide you with a new instrument in the manifold layers to appreciate.

1972 – A mid-tempo reflective ditty sung by recent member to the Scene, Ariel Engle.  Her sweet yearning voice is buoyed by a nice synth under her words in the chorus.  Not immediately a song that blew me away, but I like more each time I hear it.

All I Want – Last song on the EP.  It’s a subdued tune with repetitive lyrics “All I want. All I want is you” and then…! I’m in shock. That’s it? Like reading a used paperback of a great novel, only to find out the back half of the pages have been torn out. What would your thoughts be on Faulkner’s Sound and the Fury, if you could only judge it on the first chapter with Benjy? Interesting and at times brilliant but, not quite satisfying!

After listening to VOL1 over and over again, I’m still not sure if I entirely love it… but I want more! This may end up a fantastic series of Eps.  I’m certainly looking forward to hearing more yet, am cautious. I’ll keep my fingers crossed BSS maintain my excitement like each Lord of the Rings movies and not bore or frustrate me like the last few entries into the Star Wars saga; where I’ve completely given up, exhausted and feeling like I’ll never get what I’m looking for.

Check out: Boyfriends, 1972

Visit Broken Social Scene’s website.

A bit of a Renaissance man, Steve Murphy is a singer-songwriter, author, and journalist based out of London, Ontario. An avid vinyl collector and audiophile, his personal collection of albums is wide ranging and in the thousands, including four released from his band Westminster Park.

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