Sonic Avenues – Television Youth

Rating: ★★★★☆

Over the last decade or so the United States has been flooded by wave after wave of Canadian bands, with a great deal coming from Montreal.  While the majority of Montreal’s exports have predominantly dwelled in the artistic pop spectrum with the likes of Arcade Fire at the helm, it’s not all the city has to offer.  Sonic Avenues are an energetic foursome kicking out power-pop/pop-punk on Television Youth the likes we’ve all been missing.

“Givin’ Up On You” jumps you right into the brash affair with a furious drumming and the ghost of Chuck Berry’s guitar being played at maximum speed. You’ll do more than just stomp your feet or tap your toes with this number; if, like me, you’re versed in the old school, you’ll surely be pogoing around your office cubicle or dorm room. A few minutes away lurks one hell of a single, the one that gives the album its name, “Television Youth.”  There’s not just one thing that makes this track stand out; you can pick between the drumming, the “oohs,” the gang vocals or the guitar playing.  Regardless, songs like this deserve to be played by everyone, loud and in close proximity to your annoying neighbors.

Sure, there’s been a handful of other bands banging away such Exploding Hearts influenced pop, but I don’t really feel as if any one has turned the volume up quite as loud as Sonic Avenues.  “Late Summer Goner” and “Fadin’ Luv” both bear a small resemblance to Gentleman Jesse and His Men, but these Montrealers hit it just a bit harder, giving them a much more punk sounding monstrosity of a record than many of their peers.  Perhaps it’s just a little bit more of an unabashed approach to kicking out the classic sounds; whatever it is, it works throughout Television Youth.

You can’t help but find every little touch on this full-length slightly more than infectious.  Pushing through the album is easy, as its brief, allowing you to put all your energy into ransacking your room in joyous abandon.  Even if you start to think that it all blends together, even a bit, you find exciting tracks like “Back Up Back Down” hiding at the end, assuring listeners that no matter how much you think you love your power-pop, you can never get enough of it when it sounds this good.

Admittedly, Sonic Avenues haven’t broken any brand new ground with their latest effort for Dirtnap Records, but they’re execution of the craft revitalizes the genre just a touch, bringing a faster more ferocious variety than many of their predecessors or peers.  Each time I press play on Television Youth, a smile lights up my face, ready for my body to contort spastically as I flail about.  You can’t ask for much more in a record than that; proof that these dudes are on top of the game.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/TelevisionYouth.mp3]

Download:Sonic Avenues – Television Youth [MP3]

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