‘Forgiveness Rock Record’ cover art

The new album is still over a month away, but Broken Social Scene are offering two more tracks, “Forced to Love”/ “All to All,” off their upcoming album Forgiveness Rock Record for nothing on their homepage.

“Forced to Love” is breezy tune with high-pitched keyboards and guitars driving the song in the hook and harmonizing vocals that remind me sometimes of Pinback. It’s a raucous tune that sounds bright, open and playful.

We finally get to hear a female voice in “All to All.” It’s a mellow tune riding electronic ticks, burbles and swooshes. It crescendos on an incessant whir of guitar and Lisa Lobsinger’s breathy vocals open wide, warm and dreamy.

So far, so good. For me, it has become difficult to compare BSS to anything else but themselves. The Scene are truly in their own category as far as quality of music. All the new songs are great and certainly catchy in their complex BSS way. Still, none of it has yet to make my heart skip a beat like the luscious finale of swooning strings and voices in “Shampoo Suicide” or in the repetition of warped vocals in “Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl”: “Park that call/Drop that phone/Sleep on the floor/Dream about me.” And nothing from this new album has so far given me the shivers like the crystalline interplay of guitar and bass in “Guilty Cubicles.” It’s those simple, yet transcendent moments in Broken Social Scene’s music that made me a fan of the group in the first place.

You can buy the mp3s or higher quality FLAC files of these two newly released tracks from their on-line store. They are also taking pre-orders for the new album there in CD, LP, MP3 and a deluxe limited edition set (a cumbersome-sounding vinyl set spread across no less than seven 10-inch slabs of wax. Only 1,000 will be made, and they will set you back $125).

Oh, and the track listing has not been easy to find, so I will provide it here. Got it from Amazon, though:

1. World Sick

2. Chase Scene

3. Texico Bitches

4. Forced to Love

5. All to All

6. Art House Director

7. Highway Slipper Jam

8. Ungrateful Little Father

9. Meet Me in the Basement

10. Sentimental X’s

11. Sweetest Kill

12. Romance to the Grave

13. Water in Hell

14. Me and My Hand

(Copyright 2010 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

Forgiveness Rock Record cover art

Quick update on the Broken Social Scene news from Feb. 17, 2010. Their website is offering the free download of the first song from the aforementioned collaboration with John McEntire.

They have entitled the track “World Sick,” and it is quite a powerful number. Featuring BSS’s signature dynamics, the song builds from the ether of silence to the bombast of heavenly noise like only Broken Social Scene can swing it.

As usual, the drumming is solid and penetrating, putting the other instruments up to task, and they do not let down. As the drums fade in through the atmospheric shimmer of delicate guitar noises, a swinging guitar line begins driving the song, which actually recalls McEntire’s other project, the Sea and Cake. As the vocals take over, the guitar continues to insist as an echoing bit of guitar tremolo accents the end of the lyrics’ lines and the song swells to swishing cymbals and over-lapping guitar bits, sounding lush and a bit like early Spiritualized when things got ecstatic in their songs. The song ebbs and crescendos a couple of times only to quietly peter out to soft strums and a delicate percussive patter. It makes for a lovely six-and-a-half-minute piece that sets the bar high for the rest of the album.

Despite my early Tortoise expectations, this song actually has the brightness of a Sea and Cake song magnified with the potency of the larger band that is Broken Social Scene.

Download it by clicking through here.

Also, the group has a title for the album, not to mention cover art (see image). They have dubbed it Forgiveness Rock Record … Hmm, I wonder if they are asking fans to forgive them for taking five years to follow-up on their last album? If this offering is any hint, the wait has been worthwhile.

(Copyright 2010 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)