Right, so I know I’ve written before about the disconnection I have with how popular or not popular an artist is.
This line of thinking applies to a certain extent also to the country of origin. Even in this digital age, do you really know what’s popular in countries other than here in the US? Bro, do you even J-pop?
That’s why it’s a bit disorienting for me as a music fan to see independent bands who are moderately popular in America become huge successes elsewhere. Take David Hasselhoff, for instance. My fellow Germans love that dude for no real apparent reason.
If you’ve never seen the video of him tearing down the Berlin Wall, have at it:
How did we all miss the boat on that one? Was it an Illuminati vote to nominate The Hoff™ and send him over as the US representative or delegate for arguably the most important European event of the final quarter of the 20th century? Did he get filibustered in?
The Hoff™’s impressive standing in Deutschland aside, I’m still perplexed and even a bit baffled that we are so downright oblivious as music fans here in America. The topic is brought up by the fact that a band like Broken Social Scene, who are arguably enormous in their home country of Canada, America’s Hat.
Stick with me, because here comes a weak sports comparison: you know how there are sports coaches who become mentors and then all their assistants become, like, incredible head coaches themselves? It’s sort of the same thing for Broken Social Scene.
BSS, a collective of over 25+ different artists, was the breeding ground for acts like KC Accidental, Metric, Stars, and even Feist. It’s an impressive roster of fine acts.
But you wouldn’t hardly know it if you didn’t live in a place like Saskatchewan. Couldn’t even spell it right.
What could it be that accounts for this ignorance? Are we only force fed American artists because somehow WalMart is involved?
And is it only certain countries? British bands make it big over here all the time. But I don’t recall many non-one hit wonder Australian groups to blow up in the lower 48.
Either way, the group’s final album Forgiveness Rock Record, their fourth overall, reached #1 in Canada, and did alright here, topping out in the mid-30s. It’s a lengthy effort, too: 14 tracks, and more than an hour of material.
BSS plays an enjoyable brand of indie pop-alternative, with some heavy post-rock, ambient, and shoegaze influences. And though I’m reticent to compare them to a band like the Polyphonic Spree, the inclusion of such a large conglomerate of artists affords the group a certain amount of artistic freedom. In layman’s terms: more people means more instruments and singers.
Forgiveness isn’t short on poppy hooks and melodies, overdriven guitars and ambient sections that breathe.
It’s a killer summer record and with as many styles and artists as are represented on it, I’m sure there’s something you’ll find that you like. But if you don’t, just imagine that DAVID HASSELHOFF WAS SUPER POPULAR IN GERMANY, and that should cheer you right up.
From Forgiveness Rock Record, this is “Forced to Love” –
Standout tracks: “Texico Bitches” and “All to All”
Weakest track: “Me and My Hand” – If only for the fact that it’s their final song, and I’m sad to see them go. But it’s actually a decent tune.
RIYL: Metric, Feist, KC Accidental. Pop-rock, ambient rock.