Volumizer Gaga For Gigi

Adolescent angst anthems abound on this debut album from the latest addition to Vancouver’s Mint Records roster. Mint loves the superhero line-ups (see last year’s all-star team of indie power popsters the New Pornographers), and Volumizer features ’80s new wave/punk mainstays Rodney Graham and Bill Napier-Hemy (from U-J3RK5 and Pointed Sticks, respectively) and Dishrags member Jade Blade, with scenesters and artists Shannon Oksanen and John Cody completing the picture. The diversity of backgrounds show up in the final product: Blade’s buzzy guitars contribute to a hard edge while Graham and Napier-Hemy’s experienced and well-established pop instincts undoubtedly led to its hook-laden appeal. There’s nothing groundbreaking or earth-quaking here, just simply some clean, crisp punk-pop that leads to unintentional head-bopping. Youthful themes of non-committal relationships and boundless energy coupled with crushing apathy and "in your face” ’tude are highlighted over and over again in the rather uncomplicated lyrics (which marry well with Oksanen’s laid-back, aloof, sometimes whiny vocal delivery). The repetition and unoriginality of the juvie hall vibe gets tiresome at points, but after a few listens its sing-along choruses and riffs may stick with you. Bookended by the super-catchy "I Promise You, Thomas” and "Falling,” the other nine tracks end up pinballing in the middle, eventually sticking somewhere in the upper-left quadrant of your brain, lodging themselves in your mouth at the most inappropriate of times. (Mint)