Review: Broken Social Scene Roars Back Unto the Breach

Our take on 'Hug of Thunder,' the latest from the Canadian indie collective

Broken Social Scene's latest album is 'Hug of Thunder.' Credit: Norman Wong

In the mid-'00s, this Toronto band (currently numbering 15 members) could rival Arcade Fire in its bighearted gravitas. Broken Social Scene also played a big role in the careers of Feist and Metric's Emily Haines, who are both on board for the band's first LP since 2010. Haines sings "Protest Song," advising "take it like you're strong" over sharp guitar flares and a gingerly charging beat, while Feist takes over on the Kate Bush-esque title track. The standout is "Halfway Home," on which Bruce Springsteen and My Bloody Valentine meet up in the space between anxiety and uplift where this band does its best work.