Considering that my favorite band of a couple years ago was very likely Broken Social Scene, I find it a little strange that I haven't stayed quite up to date on their most recent output. It probably had something to do with the fact that I listen to their self-titled release a lot less than You Forgot It In People and that I was a bit under-whelmed by the first installment in the Broken Social Scene Presents... series (Kevin Drew's Spirit If...), but this release by Brendan Canning came out over a month ago and I just finally got around to finally hearing it.
Of course, the other part of the equation is that I maybe just needed a bit of time off from the group, and in that period regained a bit more appreciation for the work that they do, because Something For All Of Us... has really lodged its way into my head over the course of the past couple weeks. Just as you'd expect from a member of the group, it's a nicely varied album, with some fuzzed-out straightforward rock songs, some lush, ambience-drenched pieces, and a bit of instrumental wandering. Oh, and just about everyone from the group and other friends shows up for the trip.
In fact, the first half of the album plays out with every other song ripping ahead in a fairly straightforward manner, and it keeps things from feeling even the slightest bit lagging. After the album-titled opener and a track that bubbles up from ambient instrumental to an anthematic blowout, "Hit The Wall" again drops a straightforward rock track that blisters with an absolutely killer bassline and some understated vocal harmonies that hook without being obvious. Even better is "Churches Under The Stairs," which again writhes forward with yet another seriously moving bass (no surprise given Cannings contributions to Broken Social Scene as a whole) and some male/female vocals that are howl and croon and beg to be sung along with. It's a perfect late summer sing-along, and a song that I simply can't stop replaying.
On the other side of the equation are songs like the lush, chamber rock of "Antique Bull," which features Amy Millan of Stars on vocals and loads of pretty instrumentation along some softer, but fuzzy guitar. The latter half of the release can't quite keep up the same pace as the beginning, with a couple tracks that sort of miss the mark (like the spindley post rock instrumental "All The Best Wooden Toys Come From Germany" or the goofy funked-out "Love Is New"), but it's nothing that ever takes it off the rails. It's at its best when everyone is simply rocking out with the pedals stepped on, and "Possible Grenade" provides a solid punch just as things are winding down. Like the Drew, it doesn't always hit its mark, but it more than makes up for things with the bigger moments. Although it's loud in places, it doesn't sound as overstuffed as the past couple releases from the group, and that's a nice change. Rock out with a nice comedown, I guess summer is truly winding down.