Music Review

ALVVAYS / Blue Rev

todayApril 2, 2020 37 1

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Recommended if You Like: The Sundays, Camera Obscura, The Beths, Snail Mail, The Smiths
by Kristi Houk

Blue Rev, the third album from Toronto band, Alvvays is so beautiful it hurts.

I almost missed the deadline for this review because I couldn’t bear the album coming to an end and kept playing track “After the Earthquake” over and over. Am I waxing melodramatic? maybe—but it’s that good. Call them power pop, shoegaze, dream/jangle pop, it doesn’t matter. Alvvays eschews all labels.

Blue Rev, which after some quick Googling, is a vodka based cola beverage introduced in 2000, is full of bright, layered guitars, and rocks in that urgent, economical way meaning: it gets to the fucking point—each track is just over 3 minutes long.

And, of course, there’s vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Molly Rankin’s clever punch-you-in-the-gut word play. Here are a few of my favorites:

From “After the Earthquake:” Why would I ever fall in love again When every detail is over the guard rail?

“Velveteen:” Is she a perfect ten? Have you found Christ again? Then tell me you don’t have the time To cop to it and vanish in the night

“Pomeranian Spinster” Don’t wanna belong I’m not nodding along I don’t care if you liked me Please don’t invite me

And as a bonus, Rankin name checks both Tom Verlaine (frontman from seminal 70’s New York rock band Television) and Belinda Carlisle from 80’s all girl band The Go-Go’s. Sure, you can spot the influences, as a friend remarked, “it sounds like if The Smiths and The Sundays had a baby.” I can’t argue with that. If Blue Rev doesn’t make you want to speed down an open road, or dance alone in your kitchen, do you even have a pulse?

Stand Out Tracks: All of them— but for real: “After the Earthquake,” “Velveteen,” “Pomeranian Spinster,” “Belinda Says”

Written by: kristi houk

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