Alright Alright Rivoli, Toronto ON, June 12
Published Jun 13, 2013Alright Alright make zippy, anthemic pop music, sometimes resembling a less catchy take on the Fratellis. Fortunately they're not the types who'd resent the comparison. Theirs is a palette of mischievous riffs and studied rasps. The exuberant singer-guitarist does a serviceable Joe Strummer, legs wibbling and angled. He has the air of a man who, if the music thing doesn't work out, probably won't be left all that many options. To the band's credit, it was a tight, engaging set. During a song titled, in all earnestness, "Blue Jean Baby," several audience members danced merrily. The four-piece were fun and undoubtedly a hit with the drinking crowd, structures ducking and swerving just enough to hold a room's attention.
Altogether it was an interesting spectacle. The songs are formulaic, but played with an energy and precision that made their blandness seem somehow impressive. It's a skill that's either depressing or virtuous. Clearly they possess self-belief in buckets, but it's a self-belief that evokes the genuinely cheery checkout attendant, one who finds a spiritual purpose in astonishingly brainless and repetitive tasks, a new angle on frozen goods to throw at every ambivalent customer. Ultimately the band couldn't quite win over everybody. Still, confident and ruthlessly competent as they are, Alright Alright remain at worst harmless, at best almost faintly enjoyable.