Back down the wire
Haim Something To Tell You Universal
IT’S hard to keep your feet from grooving to the music of Haim’s sophomore album Something To
Tell You. The trio – comprising sisters Danielle, Este and Alana Haim – caught the world’s attention when its 2013 debut album Days
Are Gone gave us a unique brand of feel good, retro numbers.
Something To Tell You is a nice follow-up, featuring more of their contemporary interpretation of the music of the 1970s. The 11-track release opens with lead single
Want You Back, which boasts an infectious, finger-snapping chorus. Who knew a song about pining for an ex-lover’s return could sound so happy? The single is probably Haim’s best shot at mainstream success.
Little Of Your Love is another track destined for repeated radio airplay. It’s a fun, charming number that’ll have you walking with a pep in your step.
Towards the end of the album, Haim slows down quite a bit with ballads Right Now and Night So
Long, something the trio didn’t really explore in the first album. The band’s quieter moments, especially in Night So Long, gives off a moody vibe we haven’t heard before – a nice contrast to the album’s overall brightness.
Compared to Haim’s debut, the sisters are sounding catchier than ever, and in some ways, more commercially accessible in Something
To Tell You .– Kenneth Chaw
Broken Social Scene Hug Of Thunder Arts & Crafts
“THINGS are gonna get better. Can’t get worse,” sings Ariel Engle, one of the many vocalists on Hug
Of Thunder, the fifth Broken Social Scene album, and the first in seven years for the Toronto collective.
That dichotomy is central to Broken Social Scene, whose celebratory anthems find hope amid tension and doubt.
The band, a cadre of 17 helmed by Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning and including Leslie Feist and members of Metric and Stars, harnesses the power of a large number of players to create deeply textured songs that range from widescreen and forceful to subtle and intimate.
Hug Of Thunder is their best since their 2002 classic You Forgot It In People. It balances calm, meditative passages with triumphant, soaring hooks, sometimes in successive songs (Sol Luna and Halfway Home), sometimes within one (Mouth Guards Of The Apocalypse). It’s rich with voices, with layer upon layer of guitars, and with joy in the power and spirit of loud, rapturous choruses. – Steve Klinge/The Philadelphia Inquirer/Tribune News Service
Sheer Mag Need to Feel Your Love Wilsuns
SHEER Mag are really, really good at making rip-it-up 1970s guitar jams in tightly coiled songs that deliver choice pop hooks and turn-it-up-to-11 six string riffage. But along with Tina Halladay’s powerhouse vocals and Kyle Seely’s guitar heroics, the Philadelphia band have other significant attributes that make themselves apparent on their first full length album (after three buzz-building EPs.)
Yes, Need To Feel Your Love has more than its fair share of hard driving songs of love and longing — see the title cut, the almost funky Pure Desire, and Can’t Play It Cool. But the fivesome also mix it up musically with confidence, from the country-folk of Until You Find The One to Suffer Me, which is seasoned with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Southern rock flavour.
Sheer Mag also unequivocally stake their claim as a resistance rock band. The 12-song set opens with Meet Me In The Street, a call to arms that begins: “Smoke hangs in the air to the east of the river / And the truncheons are primed and keen to deliver.”
Expect The Bayonet issues a promise to resist by any means necessary; Suffer Me evokes the Stonewall gay rights riot of 1969; and the terrific closing power pop salvo (Say Goodbye To) Sophie Scholl, nominates the German, anti-Nazi activist executed during WWII as a hero for our time.