Let's be honest: Hug Of Thunder, for all of its good intentions, kind of sounds like something made by Hasbro: perhaps a giant, fluffy, crime-fighting machine—the likes of which, for all we know, could actually be one of the members of Broken Social Scene, the Toronto-based and terribly talented music collective that burst on the scene with an iconoclastic by way of shamelessly celebratory catalogue years ago, until momentum finally waned with a substandard release in 2010.
The good news is that they're back, and inspired to move listeners to action (or at least empathy) in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris, they reconvened to knit together a stripped-down by way of purposeful collection of tracks. Many of the usual players are here, your Kevin Drew, Leslie Feist, Emily Haines and so on. It's an all hands on deck setting, and while Hug Of Thunder may not pack the unique punch of their best early work, this is the sound of musicians (however many multitudes) on the same page, enlightened and emboldened.
We also play a rousing game of 'Broken Social Scene, Odd Future or a Town in Saskatchewan,' so that's something too.