Yukon Blonde - Tiger Talk

‘Tiger Talk’ is filled with jangling melodies and bursting hooks.

Label: Dine Alone

Rating: 6

A lot of North American music over rock ‘n’ roll’s history has been about travelling and the feelings evoked by getting in a car or train, forgetting all your worries and just seeing where life takes you. Canadian quintet Yukon Blonde regularly explore those themes and their second album, ‘Tiger Talk’, is a freewheeling career down the interstate.

Yukon Blonde are a band in thrall to the past and their 1970s style AOR rock sound is pleasant throughout and occasionally thrilling and invigorating. There is an age-old classicism to their take on a traditional sound and ‘Tiger Talk’ is filled with jangling melodies and bursting hooks. Opening track ‘My Girl’ is a care free piece of indie-pop that introduces the group’s Beach Boys-ish harmonies and singer Jeff Iness’ strong vocals, there are echoes of Real Estate’s 2011 album ‘Days’ in its “Whoa-ing” chorus, however you get the impression that Yukon Blonde’s take is rather more obvious. No matter, there is still a great hook here to command your attention.

‘Tiger Talk’ is far more upbeat than the band’s rather more sedate debut, with ‘Radio’ and the soaring single ‘Stairway’ filled with exuberance and catchy, if rather hackneyed, guitar solos. In keeping with the feeling of travelling, there’s a lovely summery vibe throughout; it is certainly an incredibly easy listen. ‘For LA’s’ ode to Los Angeles with its plaintive cry of ‘I don’t want to grow old’ is a highlight.

Despite plenty hooks and catchy chorus’, there is an inescapable feeling that the band could be capable of much more. There is certainly well crafted song writing, but the album suffers for having a rather one dimensional sound; the most interesting track is, notably, the most different. ‘Sweet Dee’ is a lovely lilting ballad where the bands harmonies really come to the fore and it is a glorious way to end.

There may not be too much forward thinking in Yukon Blonde’s classic rock sound, but ‘Tiger Talk’ is a very pleasant listen. No doubt it will sound great cruising down an open highway in the summer.