young rival young rival
  • MONDAY, JUNE 14, 2010

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Armed with nothing but guitars, garages, grit and a penchant for the airy vocals of modern surf rock, Young Rivals have managed to make a record that, almost impossibly, sounds like all of the above. Young Rival is the Strokes on a beach break, and it's just as much fun (and totally out of left field unless you caught their 2008 EP). The Canadians embody a riff library that is somewhat exclusive to more coastal bands... the frigid north rarely ever sounds this giddy on tape. A random grab and a few spins later, and I'm consumed by their shredding guitars and happy-go-lucky chants, an affair that will leave even the world's largest grump with a smile on his face. Rock can still be fun and raw without all the excessive scuzzy BS of today's most popular garage acts, and Young Rival is out to prove that point.

"Got What You Need" echoes the kinetics of Tokyo Police Club's initial EP, and for good reason; Toronto's Jon Drew was manning the dials on this one as well as some previous TPC stuff. But make no mistake, the comparison ends (rather abruptly) there: the lonesome neo-Tundra of TPC and their first impression is nowhere to be found with the Rival. "The Ocean" could be flirting with the sands of Venice Beach, or the hipsters of New York's East River. On it goes, and the momentum never really slows... guitarist and front-man Aron D'Alesio plays the part and rips riffs like a pro both on and off the record (the latter is from secondary sources). From front to back Young Rival is great pumping-the-gas-pedal music, that's for sure.

Other than briefly mentioning the well-constructed hooks and impeccable knack for sounding both polished and raw, there isn't much else to say about Young Rival. It's immediately engaging and a ton of fun to spin. It is surprisingly easy to enjoy. It's the kind of record that really makes you want to see the band in the flesh, jumping around, all goofiness, enjoying their own jams and soaking up the energy of an audience like a sponge on water. And that might be it's greatest success... In today's world of piracy and lunacy, the live show is sometimes called one of the last pieces in a devilish game of chess between bands in real life and the electronic world. Luckily for Young Rival, it seems like they are winning. -joe puglisi

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MP3: "The Ocean" (Young Rival)
Young Rival on Myspace

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