Young Rival - Young Rival
Hamilton trio Young Rival's debut is a little mixture of that city's history of seedy punk experiments and the broader world of jangly guitars and power pop terseness. This self-titled set brims with slashing guitars and snotty vocals, and is stuffed with enough surprises that help lift it above the usual alt-rock fare.
Hamilton pre-punk legends Simply Saucer are channeled in tracks like "Modern Life" and "The Ocean," while "T-Shirt and Shorts" and "Don't Make a Sound" recall early 80s Byrds'y bands like Dumptruck and Big Dipper in their soaring harmonies and sharp melodies. "At The Break of Dawn" is a gloriously sunny track that shows the band's soft side with no irony. They even plunder surf and girl-group here and there (and psych, like on "a Few Things Left"), which may have benefitted more generic tunes like "Just Can't Stay Here" and "Got What You Need."
Young Rival make me think of The Jam, only not as smart or pissed off. That is not a knock; the combination of fury and delicacy on this self-titled debut rings with the kind of honesty that made you want to embrace Weller and company. Young Rival may inspire that kind of loyalty soon.
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