Thursday, January 25, 2018

Alvvays - Antisocialites

Antisocialites features Alvvays switching between atmospheric dreamscapes and high-energy rock with the same expertise they showed on their impressive 2014 self-titled debut. Lead vocalist-guitarist Molly Rankin is the main reason that flexibility is possible. In addition to her versatile singing, she joins keyboards player Kerri MacLellan for a guitar/synth dynamic that mimics new wave hits from the 1980s.

It’s impossible to resist the unabashed fun of “Lollipop (Ode To Jim)” and the way it evokes Parallel Lines era Blondie and creates layers of chirping vocals. “Plimsoll Punks” delves into hard-edged satire while the social barbs on “Not Your Type” get an ironic touch of the 1960s girl group sound. “Hey” charges along with the primitive energy of The Ramones.

On the more ethereal side, “In Undertow” follows in the hallowed tradition of Ivy and The Sundays. “Dreams Tonite” is a delicate Cocteau Twins flavored fantasy in which a guy a woman sees in the daytime becomes her nocturnal romantic partner. On “Not My Baby,” it’s hard to tell if a severed relationship has caused a lethargic reaction or a sense of freedom. Still, the low-key synth arrangement is another example of the enchanting way in which Alvvays creates songs.

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