I didn’t get the title for this album at first: Awoo. After listening more carefully to the beginning of the album (and guzzling a 24 oz beer at top speed) I finally heard the chorus of the second track, aptly titled Awoo, which repeats the word over and over.
The songs on Awoo are appropriately light and sweet; top-down-in-the-summer type jams. Underneath all that saccharine I sense a more performance based outfit than I originally thought. The varied instrumentation (glockenspiel, jaw harp, finger cymbals, harmonium etc), R.E.M buildups, Proclaimers-esque vocal stylings and an early 90’s feel possibly borrowed from the Smiths all contribute to a pretty well-rounded sound.
The Hidden Cameras are an army straight out of the mind of front man Joel Gibb. Hailing from Toronto, Gibb and company ooze sexuality, churchy glee and saucy spectacle. Whatever the adjectives used to describe, essentially they all add up to a cohesive and involved record.
My mind wanders around track eight, Heji, and the rest of the album follows suit. It seems as though Awoo could have been cut short a tad. In reality the album only contains thirteen tracks, but it feels much longer. Definitely reigning as the most accessible Hidden Cameras album, Awoo doesn’t disappoint, but instead creates an interesting experience and promises more in the future.
Closing out the album, track twelve runs about and hops over the lines and into 90’s alternative radio. I hear strains of this era in American music throughout the album and it adds a reminiscent ambience to the pop and quirk.
The end of the album leaves me daydreaming of XTC and not mourning the completion of its tracks. I know I’ll wake up in the morning with a catchy, obscure tune stuck in my head and will never be able to put my finger on it. You fly in and out of our heads, Hidden Cameras, but we just can’t remember you.
– Shrie Bradford