Broken Social Scene presents: Kevin Drew and the album Spirit If… offers up a varitable buffet of sexual rave-ups, artistic meanderings and otherworldly music for which only BSS can be found accountable. Kevin Drew, the co-founder of Broken Social Scene and the Arts and Crafts Records label, steps out to the forefront delivering a more personal offering of madness and emotion.
Much like all BSS albums, the sonic palette of music grabs you and carries you off on a journey to the far realm of possibilities. Joining the co-op of musicians from Toronto is an A-list of former members, like Leslie Feist, and grunge rock royalty, like J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), as well as members of Pavement, Stars and Metric. Tracks like “TBTF” and “F—ked Up Kid” are breathtaking works of art. With angelic vocals and powerful pop-hook melodies, these songs make up the face of the modern music movement. Yet with suggestive lyrical content and the DIY attitude of BSS, it is doubtful that they will be heard by the masses.
“Safety Bricks” manages to sound stripped away and organic, while remaining complex and overwhelming. “Lucky Ones” follows with a very strong resemblance of Arcade Fire; sweeping walls of sound, a chanting chorus and powerful pop presence certainly make this a deserved masterpiece.
“Gang Bang Suicide” may, in fact, scare many listeners away before they ever try it, but the melodic track is lo-fi perfection. “Backed Out of The….” turns up the volume and lets the wind blow in your face. Mascis and Drew trade iconic 80’s guitar licks that could easily transform any listener’s living room into a college keg party in a matter of moments.
You probably won’t get many chances to hear this album on the radio, nor will you likely read about the BSS wining any awards. But if you give this album a chance, I doubt you will walk away from it for a while.
Sprit If … is out now on Arts and Crafts Records.