Broken Social Scene: “Let’s Try The After” review
By Callum Leemkuil-Schuerman
Toronto’s sad indie band Broken Social Scene’s new EP only has 5 tracks, so here, briefly, is the most striking feature of each.
“Let’s Try The After” begins with squawking seagulls, the sound of the surf, and a few ghostly voices. While the gulls suggest the beach, the song doesn’t have summer’s warmth— it’s colder, perhaps more like spring or winter. These sounds, the track title, and the oceanic collage of the album cover all come together. This is a beach album.
When the second track shifts gears into the shimmery, ethereal chorus, some 808s are audible. This makes it one of the few tracks that sounds distinguishable from something released in the mid-2000s. Electronic influences aside, this is a typical Broken Social Scene guitar-and-drums instrumental jam.
On the third track, the vocal stylings of bandleader Kevin Drew, who sounds as melancholy as ever, finally appear. Broken Social Scene has always been the premiere band for sad indie kids to dance to, and this track proves they can still successfully defend their title.
Prior to minute two, “1972” is mundane and typical, but when the horns kick in the track is lifted to new heights. The jazzy, mournful horns form a perfect counterpoint to the steady drumbeat that drives the song.
Unfortunately, the EP sputters out by the end. “All I Want” plods along without building on itself. The chorus is dour and uninspired. It’s a bum note to end on for a very solid EP, but end it must.