Sometimes hooks are just hooks, catchy songs with no lofty cause or five-year plan. That’s the case with Alvvays, a Canadian group who exist as undying fans of a sucker-punch melody. Their songs document love, “cocktails”, awkward exchanges and tough times. But that’s not the important part. What matters in the band’s first full-length is that not a single track comes off as a dud. With each effort packing at least half a dozen unique hooks, it’s difficult for anything to come off remotely dull.
There’s a routine to how Alvvays do things. Molly Rankin (descendent of a famous folk family who, in her native country, might as well be royalty), soars above eye-gouging riffs and a pace that offers various ups and downs, usually in a similar structure. Hand these songs to a Best Coast (Alvvays’ closest contemporary) or even a Taylor Swift and they’d topple charts. It’s foolish to rule out these newcomers achieving that on their own terms.
‘Archie, Marry Me’ isn’t the record’s most fizzed up, frenetic number, but it’s the definite standout. A romance-doused triumph, never has a proposal sounded so positively heartfelt. ‘Party Police’ aims for similar heights, matching impassioned falsetto with carefree, sun-drenched licks.
The arrival seems timely. Although initially self-released, ‘Alvvays’’ lap of honour is about as road-tripping, beach-friendly and lazy day-appropriate as any album comes. It draws from the same spirit as early Shins and given its lack of missteps, it’s capable of becoming just as important a debut as ‘Oh, Inverted World’. All it needs now is a Zach Braff endorsement.
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