Ride Your Bike Bad News From the Bar

From the sounds of this debut album, I could have sworn Ride Your Bike are from Toronto. They sound like the acoustic offspring of Tokyo Police Club and Born Ruffians. Messy and unorganised, with voices clashing and wailing above electric and acoustic guitars, keys and happy drumming, Canadians will love the hell out of Bad News From the Bar. Who knew Fort Collins, CO could breed such carefree indie pop? The infectious, short songs follow a screenplay front-man Mike Getches penned about two childhood friends drifting apart and stumbling along their separate paths, only to realise at the end how important their friendship was. Each song is packed with a pop rock punch and although at times ("Coat Rack”), one could draw comparisons to crafty, but boring, writers like the Early November, it really isn’t too clear just who inspired these canny little pop songsmiths. They slow down on the ironically titled "Faster” for an emotional acoustic ballad yet are back to business on "So if We,” which sounds like a Spiral Beach mash up, where they master power chords and add more punk into the mix. Unfortunately the second half of the album is filled with a little more generic rock than the first, which gives you the idea that on their next release they will have themselves figured out. In the meantime, why not enjoy these fun, tireless songs? (Deep Elm)