Published Oct 05, 2016Sonic Avenues appeared in the late aughts as a team of Rickenbacker-slinging power poppers. While cynics might have seen them as the nail in the coffin for garage revivalists like the Hives, a string of DIY releases — culminating with 2014's explosive Mistakes — cast them instead as fun-loving underdogs anticipating the next wave of post-punks.
Two years later, the Montrealers are back with a more earbuds-friendly record that demonstrates studio wizardry while still packing a punch. From the get-go, the antsy "Future" moves hastily through dynamics, giving the listener the impression of switching from a busted car speaker to a surround sound system in just the first minute.
Punctuated by some inventive production tricks, the album that follows is a collage of unpredictable song sections, down-picked riffs and catchy melodies. Tunes like the apocalyptic "Tunnel Vision" and the euphoric "Monotonic" have an immediate simplicity that grows in depth after multiple listens.
In a press release, Sonic Avenues cited songwriting influences ranging from Gary Numan to A Flock Of Seagulls for this full-length. Let's not kid ourselves, though — what we have here is a collection of punkish anthems that, if anything, owes way more to the Buzzcocks. And you know what? That's hardly a bad thing. (Dirtnap)