Praise be and pass the lube! Joel Gibb and his mild-mannered army of sissies, nancy boys and nellies have returned to wave the fag, er, flag in honour of all that is perverse and pretty. While the Cameras exploit their customary tropes - merging queer imagery and church iconography with bent reverence, offsetting simple melodies with transcendental swirling strings, tossing off casual lines about poo - Mississauga Goddam surpasses the expectations set by their breakout Smell Of Our Own. Why? Restraint, for one. Gibb & co. balance the baroque swells on the album with stark strummed acoustic ballads, like the beautifully epic title track that closes the album. And while Gibb's few vocal tricks can come off like contrived Dada tone poems, Mississauga Goddam proves he's mastered the distinction between his band's live spectacle and the careful art of crafting a lasting (and listenable) artifact.
The Hidden Cameras play Trinity-St. Paul's Centre July 23.