by Tiana Feng
Release Date: January 21st, 2014
Label: Outside Music
It’s been a while since The Hidden Cameras released an album. Despite this, the band doesn’t fail to draw a crowd, more than selling out the past long winter show here in Canada. Age is the collective’s sixth album and the most ambitious from frontman Joel Gibb.
At the center of Age is the subject of sexual politics. The opener “Skin and Leather” uses orchestral pop to talk about S&M, arguably the most beautiful and lush song I’ve heard of the topic. The following “Bread for Brat” follows the same string-driven formula. Things get a little more electropop in “Doom”, “Carpe Jugular” and “Gay Goth Scene”, which brings to mind the dramatic glam-rock stylings of Diamond Rings. Except with opposite subject matter. Gibb sings about the taking away of self-esteem and continuously teases the scene with the line “We don’t want no gay goth scene”, which apparently includes witches. There’s cackling on the track from Mary Margaret O’Hara.
So after that minor period of gloom, we are treated to some reggae in “Afterparty”, my personal favourite from “Age”. The track at 6-minutes is like a vacation away from the tension that holds itself throughout the album. Gears switch again later in “Ordinary Over You”, a slower almost folk track. It dallies with the atmopspheric and orchestral pop in a way that is uplifting and sounds like the opening for something important, like the olympics or something.
To close off Age is he heated single “Year of the Spawn”. It combines all elements of Age – orchestra, drama – for a fantastic finale. Age, with all its experimentation and theatrical glory won’t leave you bored.