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Stay Young

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Vinyl, December 11, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

- LP comes with CD version inside

Young Rival harbors an informed reverence for popular-music history that makes it an indie-rock act capable of winning over audiences that might ordinarily turn a deaf ear to indie-rock. Here's a hard-tourin', down-to-business threesome that hits all of the time honoured marks a ''real'' rock 'n' roll band is supposed to hit. And these cats aren't playing dress-up, either. Young Rival guitarist and frontman Aron D'Alesio, bassist John Smith and drummer Noah Fralick comes by its old-school predilections honestly. It's been true to its roots since its inception.

The band is not into chasing fashion or blog buzz. It's got plenty of friends in the business, too, having done a couple of tours now with pals the Sadies and the Born Ruffians. But it's still a tough position to be in as a Canadian indie band if you never sound neither particularly ''indie'' nor ''Canadian'' in whatever the going senses of ''indie'' and ''Canadian'' might be.

So no, there's nothing terribly au courant about Young Rival's sophomore full-length, Stay Young. If you value songwriting, melody and musicianly chops in their most timeless forms, though, you'll find much to love here.

Stay Young is maybe a more delicate creature than its predecessor, 2010's all-guns blazing Young Rival, exploring as it does the poppier reaches of the band's hard-to-pin down sound. This album produced with just enough scruffiness once again by Fucked Up/Arkells/Tokyo Police Club producer Jon Drew picks up where the last album's breezy ''The Ocean'' and ''Don't Make A Sound'' left off, introducing new layers of complexity into the tunes even as they hearken back to an even more youthful and naive era of pop music's formative years. There's a whiff of early ''beat'' groups to the brisk, endearingly adolescent earworms ''Black Popcorn'' and ''Two Reasons,'' a bit of Nuggets era brashness to ''I Don't Care'' and ''Better Things to Do.'' ''Let It Go,'' meanwhile, adds a touch of Clash-esque dubspace to the Young Rival palette, while ''Lost'' sprawls psychedelically in a way nothing the band has recorded has sprawled before. ''Night Song,'' for its part, is a decidedly sweet puppy-love ballad that feels beamed in from a more innocent age.

Its mission to conjure a bunch of ''undeniable tunes'' accomplished, Young Rival will now take to the road in earnest to make sure as many people in as many ports of call that will have it get to hear them the way they're meant to be heard: on the live stage.

Live is where it's at for Young Rival. But don't take my word for it. Let them sell themselves. Chances are they'll be coming to your town soon. These cats don't shy away from the road.
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (December 11, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sonic Unyon
  • ASIN: B009OHY6IM
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,430 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By John D. Pride on January 31, 2013
Format: Vinyl
I love this band, a new-school combo that sounds like the best of late 70s & early 80s new wave & punk swagger. The video for "Two Reasons" is the best I've seen in twenty years. I play and recommend their music constantly, and so should you. In fact, I buy around 20 CDs or over 50 MP3s every month, and nothing during the past year was more consistently listenable than this record.
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