There’s a feeling that you get when you find out a great band is about to release another album, and it’s a good feeling. Just like Alvvays’ retrostyled artwork, soaked in the hazy colors of an 8mm film, never fails to invoke great associations. Antisocialites will follow up their excellent self-titled debut, with more crystal-clear high notes from singer Molly Rankins floating over the band's shoegazy pop.
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Alvvays debut was a rare beast of classic sounding indie pop and rock that had the songs to live up to the bands they were so obviously influenced by (Pixies, Throwing Muses, Breeders, Sarah Records). On this second LP the production has been notched up somewhat which causes the band to lose some of their rickety charm but opener 'In Undertow' gets it utterly spot on. This is a catchy as Christmas burst of glacial pop that when heard once will be with you all day.
It's not the only one. 'Dreams Tonight' has typically in vogue production which tries to sit the band alongside anyone who has listened to a soundtrack to a John Hughes film by means of filtered through sunlight synths and dream like vocals. The tunes are here - the opening quartet of tunes are bang, bang bang, bang. Each a distilled ball of pop music thrills 'Your Type' aiming to become this decades answer to The Primitives 'Crash'. The album survives on as batch of good tunes. I'm not convinced that the production is a bit vogue-ish and that these songs will sound even better live when the synths are further back in the mix.
That the album starts to lose it's way half way through shouldn't put you off a purchase. If it's pure pop you want then Alvvays have all the answers. It's just that once they've answered it they don't know what else to tell you but by that point you may well still be bounding about to the opening batch.
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- Antisocialites by Alvvays
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