Slowking Rival Cities

This is the sound of many years worth of absorbing the classic Can-rock of the Tragically Hip and 54-40, mixed with an increasing diet of contemporary influences from the British dance rock invasion. There’s definitely an Interpol influence at the core of opening track "In My Bones.” Chugging away at mid-tempo rockers with spry bass lines occupies a good portion of Rival Cities. Standard adolescent sentiments litter the lyrics, adding to the sense of facelessness permeating the album. And that’s the main problem: as competent as they are, Slowking are unable to define a sound of their own. Utterly inoffensive and a cut above your average radio schlock rock, songs like "Afterschool,” with its simple, stomping beat and sunny Foo Fighters-esque melody, could quite innocuously fill some play list space on a modern rock fan’s next spring mix. (Independent)