Hailing from Hamilton, the industrial armpit of Ontario [ed. Gross.], Young Rival is an unlikely gem to surface in the Canadian alternative rock scene. Their debut, self-titled album is riddled with powerful electric twang and unusually astute melodies.
With a sprawling, distorted aesthetic that brings Franz Ferdinand and the Hives to mind, the trio’s formula is much like a collage of punk-infused, three-part melody-heavy anthems that are catchy, progressive and infectious.
The album opens up aggressively with “Got What You Need,” a throwback to ’60s garage rock with a singer/guitarist Aron D’Alesio sounding a bit like Interpol’s Paul Banks.
Another standout track is “Ghost In The Park,” a fast, crashing tune that alludes to selling drugs in a shady neighbourhood. With lyrics like “You know I got nothing to sell / But you still come around” the album is nostalgic for the simpler, dirtier times of teenage rebellion.
With a gritty aesthetic that only could have been properly cultivated by playing years of gigs in grimy bars, Young Rival’s debut is the best album of the summer to drain your beer to.