The following review was written by Steve Marlow, author of the Canadian-based electronic/experimental music blog Shellac and Vinyl; (more info after the jump).
Toronto’s Arts & Crafts Records have been steadily building an impressive roster of home-grown talent, from well established bands like Stars, Feist and the Hidden Cameras to relative newcomers like Zeus and Cold Specks. Label founders Broken Social Scene are well known for noodling around with side projects too, with Eight and a Half being the latest one.
Eight and a Half is a rare excursion into electronics for the label. The band features Justin Peroff of Broken Social Scene with two members of The Stills, Dave Hamelin and Liam O’Neill. While the music on the album is clearly steeped in the sprawling indy sensibilities of BSS, the band also digs deep into the sound of 80s synth-pop and new romanticism. “Go Ego,” an early track on the album combines dreamy vocals with lush, sweeping synths and burbling electronic bits.
The lead off single, “Scissors,” melds dark synth moods with indy rock and romanticism. The stand out track is “Two Points,” a glitched-out mess of vintage electronics and noises that come together like the love child of Devo and Crystal Castles. Watch for more fascinating side projects from Broken Social Scene, including Cookie Duster, featuring Brendan Canning, with a debut album to be released later this year.
Steve Marlow has been a music fan and record collector since high school. He’s been writing about music for more than 25 years. He also has been hosting a radio show called “Do Not Touch This Amp” for more than 12 years, focusing on experimental and electronic music. It currently airs on CFBX Radio in Kamloops from 8-9 PM on Friday nights.
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