Elbow Beach Surf Club Billy Club EP

Guelph, ON’s Elbow Beach Surf Club get tighter with every outing, and their unique brand of hooky pop fury has never sounded so engaging. Even as they explore more dynamic song structures, with rapid-fire tempos frequently running into half-time breakdowns, nine songs in 22 minutes leave little room for self-indulgence. The punk pop blast of "Same Side” is uplifting, with vocalist Lindsay Roe submerged in distortion and mixed low enough to approximate the raw tone and presence of another guitar. "Where the Bluejays Are” has a similar rush, exhibiting the band’s affection for Sonic Youth, which is further exemplified about halfway through "Oil God,” with a manic noise release. It’s funny because, in spite of the band’s allegiance to underground aesthetic values, songs like "No Volume” possess anthemic qualities and, with the sheen of a meatier production, would surely have more of an impact. That’s not to detract too much from the band’s impressive DIY efforts but, as commanding as the Billy Club EP is, it’s just a hair away from storming out of your speakers. (Burnt Oak)