Junior Battles / Idle Ages / Paper And Plastick
To slap songs together and call the creation an album is one thing. To show depth is another. Pop punk quartet Junior Battles do the latter so well Idle Ages reflects influences taken from the food chain of their genre, stretching out across Canada and what lies beneath the border. Vocalists Sam Sutherland and Aaron Zorgel pass the mic between takes, driving the nail that is their dim lyrical focus into the coffin where in “Seventeen”, it works, pushing a rippling guitar riff against genuine declarations until the song relapses into a punk rhythm. Brush aside its capital use in material that’s more dark Chicago-punk (“Twenty Five”, “Nostalgic 23”) or has a political feel (“Alternate 1985”) and it’s almost as if Junior Battles are trying too hard in between their natural outbursts.
“Ever Get The Feeling You’ve Been Cheated?” introduces itself in an awkward state until about a minute later where it collects itself, feeds off the pace and guest Damian Abraham’s quick cameo vocals and ignites a conclusion that spits 2003 Brand New and a muffled horns section. The shifts on Idle Ages seem intriguing, but they, like the alt rock tone of “Alternate 1985” and the acoustic pop take “With Honours” seem forced. Not as if Junior Battles are throwing too much effort into being expansive, but as if there’s a big label fat cat working for “The Man” and pulling strings. The reasoning behind the presumption floats from how the group collectively shape pop punk rhythms designed to wound (“Birthday Parties vs. Punk Routine”) and swing crowd anthems into long distance relationship tunes (“Passing Out”) without losing energy or heartfelt angst. That glimpse of Junior Battles’ soul is what some call potential.
Download: “Radio”, “Living In The Future Of Feelings”, “Seventeen”
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