Young Rival North By Northeast Toronto ON June 11 to 15

Sometimes a name change is only that. In the case of Hamilton rockers the Ride Theory’s transformation into Young Rival, it’s more of a band reinvention. I don’t miss the matching mod suits, but I do miss the rollicking bluesy garage rock riffs the band used to screech out like they’d collectively chewed a fresh adrenal gland pre-set. When the rather nondescript, T-shirt clad lads hit the stage, the experience was underwhelming, to say the least. It’s like the group consciously turned the dial to "suck,” eviscerating any real trace of what made them stand out at all before. Their new songs were all sluggish, repetitive, bland odes to "Nirvanabe” clones.