The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - SIOBHÁN KANE

Hug of Thun­der ★★★★ City Slang

Seven years since their last record to­gether, Canada’s Bro­ken So­cial Scene have pro­duced what Kevin Drew has termed, “that em­brace amongst the chaos”. That em­brace, of course, stems from a col­lec­tive of mu­si­cians that here, bril­liantly show­case their al­most 20-year short­hand. This im­mer­sive record serves to re­mind that they were in­stru­men­tal in forg­ing a path that others like Ar­cade Fire have skipped down; their mu­si­cal verve re­veals it­self on Half­way Home, with its jan­gly gui­tars and wildly free vo­cals, and Sky­line, which is all driv­ing per­cus­sion and clat­ter­ing har­monies. Stay Happy be­gins sparsely, with min­i­mal gui­tars and Ariel En­gle’s ethe­real vo­cal, but shapeshifts into a bay­ing, ro­man­tic epic. Each is song em­blem­atic of the pro­tean, play­ful, and pro­found qual­i­ties that Bro­ken So­cial Scene con­tinue to bring. bro­kenso­

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