Broken Social Scene perform Wednesday, March 17, at Club Clearview, with Stars.
This Canadian collective--led by Toronto scene gadabout Kevin Drew but occasionally including up to 10 other moonlighting musicians whose résumés (if not names) you'd likely recognize--drew acclaim last year for the expansive, spaced-out indie rock on its American debut, You Forgot It in People. It's easy to float someone's boat when they're clinging to scraps of humdrum post-Pavement guitar fuzz. Still, as Stephen Malkmus once sang, songs mean a lot when songs are bought, and the good ones on You Forgot make you forget that the band is reaching outside a box they should just ignore in the first place. Not so with Bee Hives, a desultory new set of BSS B-sides out this month that mostly consists of cloistered effects-pedal whoosh and aimless percussive flutter. (Except "Backyards," a goose-pimply rush of sleigh bell, banjo, singer Emily Haines' deadpan coo and tinkly electronic burbles I'd buy for a dollar. Maybe two.) But give 'em credit for calling a B-side a B-side--a sure sign of their indefatigable indie integrity, whatever that is.