One of my favorite bands of the last 10 years was Broken Social Scene. Sadly they called it quits last year (until the inevitable, first-of-many reunion show, of course). Thankfully, they’ve left behind a legacy of former members, a unique sound and a bustling label and this week’s batch explores them all.
Zeus: Busting Visions
Zeus started as a backing band for former BSS member Jason Collett but have found great success on their own. Their sound is a Beatles-y mix of stellar songwriting, nice harmonies and good old fashioned rock and roll. The opening track on the album, Are You Gonna Waste My Time?, is one of the better rock songs you’ll hear this year. The rest of the CD (on the Arts and Crafts label) follows it nicely: a throwback to when great rock bands made great albums top to bottom.
The Darcys: Aja
Perhaps no band elicits a stronger range of emotions than Steely Dan – some claim them as one of the best ever, an equal number hate them and plenty just shrug and say “whatever.” Into that dynamic, it’s a bold move for an upstart band to cover (or “interpret”) an entire Dan album, but that’s what The Darcys (also on Arts & Crafts) have done, and quite impressively at that. Their version pays deference to the originals to satisfy the die-hards (I hope, at least), while finding enough wiggle room in the material to breathe fresh new life into it – an excursion here, a reinvention there. Personally, perhaps sacrilege to say so, I enjoy it more than the original, but let me know what you think.
Cookie Duster: When Flying Was Easy
While Kevin Drew was undoubtedly the brains behind Broken Social Scene, bassist Brendan Canning was perhaps their beating heart. Cookie Duster is a sorta new/sorta revived band with Canning at its fore, with plenty of his signature BSS musicality permeating through it. The album is full of twists and turns, catchy bits that get flung out into the ether never to return. It’s not the Broken Social Scene, but, for this fan, at least, it feels like it takes that as a point of departure and explores some new pop universes. Plenty to sink your teeth in until that hypothetical reunion comes about.