Five years after their 2017’s album Antisocialites, the Toronto-based Canadian band Alvvays return with another Indie Pop delicacy, Blue Rev.
Became commercially available on October 7th through Polyvinyl, Blue Rev took a long process to get finalized… counting in the hassles and inconveniences that the pandemic did bring. Despite this, it still came out beautiful, full of lyrically relevant and sonically saccharine songs.
Complete with Molly Rankin (vocals, guitar), Kerri MacLellen (keyboards, vocals), Alec O’Hanley (guitar, keyboards, bass), Sheridan Riley (drums), and newest member, Abbey Blackwell (bass), as a collective, Alvvays put together 14 new songs worth checking out. It all begins with lead singles, the catchy, sweet, dreamy, Shoegaze-driven “The Pharmacist” and “Easy on Your Own?” These are then followed by “After the Quake” – a song inspired by a book of the same title that the Japanese Author Haruki Murakami wrote.
After the triumvirate of upbeat tracks, Alvvays then slows down with “Tom Verlaine” – obviously a homage to the frontman of the pioneering American Post-Punk band Television. With the ensuing “Pressed,” “Many Mirrors,” and “Very Online Guy,” Alvvays swiftly return to Dreampop/Shoegaze mode – fuzzy guitars, engaging beats, and vocals slightly buried in the mix. This is while a couple slow ballads then follow next with “Velveteen” and “Tile by Tile.”
Moving forward, “Pomeranian” and “Belinda Says” are grungy and shoegazy in equal measures, with the latter exuding My Bloody Valentine sensibilities. Thereafter. “Bored in Bristol” is a breath of fresh vibes which are less distortion, more bass thumps and dancey rhythms. Aptly, Alvvays wrap up their latest gift to the music world with the sparse and starry “Lottery Noises” and “Fourth Figure.”
Canada has been a big contributor to Indie Pop/Rock music for a couple of decades now with now familiar names such as Metric, The New Pornographers, Stars, and Broken Social Scene. That in mind, Alvvays has quickly secured its place alongside their countrymates. Only in their eleventh year of activity, but already on their third full-length record, Alvvays continues to show that they are certainly another vibrant flag-waver of Canadian music. A fine album, Cryptic Rock gives Blue Rev 4 out of 5 stars.