Broken Social Scene Presents Brendan Canning – Hit the Wall and Churches Under the Stairs

Two new ones from the second album of the ‘Broken Social Scene Presents…’ series, following up on the first album from Kevin Drew. The first song is the album’s first single, and the second is my favorite song on the album so far, which is subject to change depending on how much I listen to it.

In the past, BSS has been kind of hit and miss for me. I really love their more traditional pop stuff, like “Stars and Sons” and “Cause = Time” from ‘You Forgot it in People’. But I’ve been kind lukewarm on the more instrumental/experimental stuff like “Shampoo Suicide” or “Looks Just Like the Sun”, from the same album. Their self titled album seemed to have more of the latter, and it’s not one of my favorites. Kevin Drew was responsible for a good portion of their earlier work, and somewhat as expected, his album was kind of all over the place.

Brendan Canning, has tended to be a little more subdued to this point, with “Stars and Sons” being a good example of his best work to this point. But he really steps up on the new album, with a lot of very interesting and very accessible pop. Both of these songs are good examples of that. He also delivers a fairly surprising dance track called “Love Is New”, which to me sounds like his own personal “I Turn My Camera On”.

In person, these guys deliver an excellent live set. I saw that at Intonation/Pitchfork a few years ago for the first time, and last Saturday, they hit the Metro for a two hour set following up on the set they played earlier in the day at Lollapalooza (which I did not attend). There are anywhere from 8 to 18 people on stage at all times, but it’s controlled chaos, and it sounds great.

2 Responses to “Broken Social Scene Presents Brendan Canning – Hit the Wall and Churches Under the Stairs”

  • The Uncanny Canadian

    I really want to like the Brendan Canning stuff more and wish I could be a full-fledged fanboy of BSS. But I find it just listenable and utterly unmemorable. As if I’m almost waiting for each song to end, just so something inevitable will happen.

  • There stuff didn’t really kick in for me until the first P-fork show. A lot of clicked after that. I was lukewarm on the last two albums, but I liked the new one before seeing them the other night, and again, the live show really helped the last two albums ‘make sense’, if you catch my drift. I can’t think of any other bands for whom that has happened. There are individual songs that I’ve gotten a much better appreciation for after seeing them live, but never entire albums.

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