Alvvays – Blue Rev (Album Review)

Alvvays – Blue Rev (Album Review)

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.

Alvvays – Blue Rev / Polyvinyl

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aLfie vera mella
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Born in 1971, in Metro Manila, Philippines, aLfie vera mella is a healthcare worker, singer/songwriter, and editor/writer. He was the frontman of the ’90s-peaking Philippine Alternative Rock / New Wave band Half Life Half Death, which released a full-length album and several singles on Viva Records. aLfie worked at Diwa Scholastic Press as an editor/writer of academic textbooks and supplementary magazines, focusing on Science & Technology and English Grammar & Literature. In 2003, aLfie migrated to Canada; he has since been living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He works full-time at a healthcare institution, while serving as the associate contributing editor of Filipino Journal—a local community newspaper in Winnipeg—tackling Literature, Languages, Cultures, Lifestyles, and Music. aLfie has been a music journalist since the mid-’90s for various print magazines as well as websites. He started writing album reviews for Cryptic Rock in 2015. In 2016, aLfie published Part One (Literature & Languages and Their Cultural Significance) of his Essay Series, Can You Hear the Sound of a Falling Leaf?; in 2021, his first book of poetry, Pag-íhip sa Dáhon ng Kahápon [Blowing Leaves of Yesterday]. In his spare time, he enjoys reading books and listening to music. aLfie is a dedicated father to his now 13-year-old son, Evawwen; and a loving husband to Kathryn Mella, who herself moonlights also as a writer aside from holding a degree in Bachelor of Arts, Major in Sociology.

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