Kiwi Jr.

Football Money

BY Sophie BrzozowskiPublished Mar 27, 2019

Kiwi Jr. have alluded that their debut album would be something of an homage to the city of Toronto, where the former East coasters had recently relocated. To many a bitter local, the idea of producing a rock record about the 416 will sound terrifically uncool. It's hard to imagine anyone being able to glean any kind of romance or mystique from a city that manages to be so obnoxiously prideful and yet so lacking in self-awareness.
Football Money, however, is just naïve enough to be charming. The songs see the city through a pair of wide, innocent eyes, the way only four boys from Charlottetown, P.E.I. could.
Borrowing heavily from the likes of Stephen Malkmus, the album feels reminiscent of the early '00s for its country-tinged, jangly sound. "Murder in the Cathedral," the first track off the record, layers a pedal steel riff over a twangy lead guitar, resulting in a sound that feels kitschy but genuine.
Beneath their rollicking instrumentals, the band display some impressive songwriting chops. Tales of late night pool parties, house shows sticky with spilled beer and the logistical difficulties of making out with a hipster who won't take off his sunglasses are woven seamlessly into the album. Kiwi Jr. reference everything from the TTC to the FLQ over the course of the record, and, though their stories sometimes verge on becoming absurd, each song displays an unabashed earnestness.
Though Football Money is not without its moments of pessimism, at its core, it's a coming-of-age record about doing what you can with what you have — a bright-lights-big-city story scaled down to Canadian proportions.
(Mint Records)

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