Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Young Rival Stays Young & Show # 429

The opening track on Young Rival’s Stay Young is the song “Black Popcorn” a song featuring Young Rival’s classic Garage/Surf riffs and a tambourine filled catchy chorus, however, the song's title is also a perfect way to describe this album. For those of you who don’t know, black popcorn is an actual thing, it grows naturally, is not genetically engineered and is not like average popcorn. Black popcorn is said to have a crunchy texture and rich flavour and this song is the first example of the bands crunchy Garage Rock texture and rich melodies. It is also something that is explored in greater detail as the album progresses. Stay Young is Young Rival’s follow up to their 2010 self-titled debut which was also released on Sonic Unyon. This album was produced by the award winning Jon Drew, who has worked with such artists as Fucked Up, Tokyo Police Club, Arkells, Magneta Lane and many others. It differs from their 2010 release in a few ways: It is the first album recorded by this Hamilton band as a three piece (guitarist Kyle Kuchmey left the group in 2010) and it's catchy as hell. In a recent press release for Stay Young, drummer Noah Fralick said that "With this record, we focused more on the melodic range of our sound while still retaining the grit and feel of our previous records," and that is exactly what this album achieves, the band takes on an almost Power Pop/60s Pop melody dynamic on this release.

“Nothing You Know Well” is the second track on Stay Young, with its climbing basslines and spacious reverb filled guitar riffs, this is a song like many on the album that displays a poignant sense of view at times combined with visual lyrics like “The fireflies are out tonight/and your eyes are burning above the cigarette light”. “Let It Go” starts with a heavy bassline from bassist John Smith, the song structure reflects a mid-period Clash influence not unlike their “Radio Clash” single. It is also layered with the catchy vocals that are a prominent feature of not only this song, but also Stay Young. “I Don’t Care” features intricate drum work from Noah Fralick and jangly Garage rhythms, while “Two Reasons” hits hard with Aron D’Alesio’s guitars and vocals. With its suburban juxtaposing lyrics such as “She came into my house/she broke the couch/she turned on the TV/and then she left the milk out” and “I kissed her on the steps/my hands on her hips/that’s when I found out she picked my pocket for a summer dress”, the song reflects a sharp yet mature point of view lyrically. The music video to this song has also become an internet sensation climbing at above 600,000 views in just ten days on reddit. The video features a variety of unique face paintings of James Kuhn from Michigan, which has gotten a big reaction out of people on the web. James was discovered by bassist John Smith and the rest of the band via his blog. The band collaborated with him for the video and after receiving about twenty five videos of James lip syncing to “Two Reasons”, the results were edited together by bassist John Smith.
“Black Is Good” is without a doubt one of the best tracks on Stay Young. It features a stop and start Strokes-like rhythm in the verses with haunting Beach Boys background vocals. The song kicks into high gear in the chorus when the tempo changes and the song takes on a Post-Punk structure not unlike early Iggy Pop. The lyrics to this song are very distinctive as Aron D’Alesio sings about love, as he searches for answers in a drunken epiphany he comes to the conclusion that “Black Is Good” and he’s content where he’s at as he sings in the songs chorus “You’ve always been my love girl/please don’t go/forever this will be the hand/knocking on your door” and the coda “Yes it’s true/I’d rather be in the dark with you/black is good”.

“Lost” is one of the most distinctively different songs found on Stay Young as it shows the band exploring a new creative experimental direction. It resembles The Beatles “Long, Long, Long” and music found on Radiohead’s OK Computer. It shows off Young Rival in top form branching out into a new and different direction. In the About Section of the band’s website, D’Alesio elaborates on the bands branching out on this album: “It opens the aperture as to what you think this band can do. It’s not just like: ‘Oh, they do this. And they do what they do well and that’s all they do,’” says D’Alesio. “It’s to let people know early on we can do a number of different styles within something that still feels like a cohesive effort.”

Other standout tracks on this album are the Rockabilly rhythms of “Better Things To Do”, the nuggets influenced “Valerie”, and “Night Song” which ends the album on mellow note. When the album is over, I can’t help but return to the its beginning track “Black Popcorn.” Like black popcorn, Young Rival grows naturally on Stay Young, not sounding genetically engineered or overproduced, they in essence harness the “Young Rival” sound in which they have become known for and at the same time have grown with a new sense flavour.

Young Rival play FM Lounge in Windsor on November 8th with The Elwins.

The Play List:

1. The Replacements – Raised In The City
2. Fang – The Money Will Roll Right In
3. Foo Fighters – For All The Cows
4. Vivian Girls – Tension
5. Hush Arbors – Fast Asleep 
6. Sonny Boy Williamson – Bring Another Half A Pint
7. The Stems – Rosebud
8. The Elwins – Only Friend
9. Brazilian Money – Aliens Will Arrive
10. Tranzmitors – Jimmy’s At The Mod Shop
11. The Adverts – The Great British Mistake (BBC Session)
12. The Modernettes – Barbra
13. Sex Pistols – Don’t Give Me No Lip Child
14. Gang of Four –Paralyzed
15. Actual Water – The Paisley Orchard
16. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - Vibolux Deluxe
17. Link Wray – Creepy
18. Alex Chilton – I’ve Had It
19. Nirvana – Spank Thru (Live)
20. Ty Segall – Thank God For The Sinners
21. Simply Saucer – Dance The Mutation
22. Young Rival – Two Reasons
23. Young Rival – Nothing You Know Well
24. Young Rival - The Ocean

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 6. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

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