Under Review

The Hidden Cameras

Awoo (Evil Evil)

Review By Mono Brown

I was in a terrible state the day I decided to review Awoo. “It sucks!” I screamed at the first person courageous enough to pass through my front door with a peace offering of  soup while we gave the Hidden Cameras’ third LP another critical spin. “Um, except for this song,” I cautioned as Awoo began. Opener “Death of a Tune” at least marches to the beat of an authentic Hidden Cameras hit, if not a hit the foot soldiers of the Mild Mannered Army have already marched to before.
Following “Death”, I warned again, “Not this one either,” since “Awoo,” despite the general gentleness of Awoo, delivers the necessary final blow to finish the cutthroat campaign that Joel Gibb began with in Mississauga Goddam’s “Doot Doot Ploot.” If the latter was a rallying cry for fervent followers, “Awoo” softly proselytizes the devout to a resistance led by simple chords, sweet chimes, and silly choruses (written phonetically, Gibb insists). Still, after a release as brazen as MG, I worry that an album otherwise comprised of tracks like “She’s Gone” and “Wandering” signals a retreat from the full-frontal musical coup d’etat that has fired the Mild Mannered Army since Ecce Homo.
My earliest musings set aside, however, I doubt that Joel Gibb plots against himself this album around. Sure, it took a few more spins and even more heated exchanges over the muted force of Awoo, but I have decided that it might be the bravest of the Cameras’ albums yet. Awoo, though surprisingly disarming, can stake its claim on being the fiercest of Gibb’s efforts to invite listeners further into the realm of the one-man army that has ruled much of his career as the centre of the Hidden Cameras. The victory of Awoo is personal.