Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Reviews:: Modern Boys Modern Girls I Might As Well Break It

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When it rains it pours I guess. Yesterday, I mentioned that a lot of the sneer and energy of rock and roll has decimated into swirling, folk and chamber pop. Thankfully, young bands like Toronto's Modern Boys Modern Girls are doing their part to crank up the amps and put the brashness back in rock 'n roll. The band's debut record - I Might As Well Break It. - is ten songs that really play like a gig at a dark and dingy club. It leaves you sweat soaked, bruised and battered and remembering.

My Baby Says Boy, Don't You Ever Go jump starts the effort with a Ramones count and Akira's gruff vocals, but it’s the backing harmonies that make the song sizzle. Aimee's voice is pure and clear, and balance the energy. The two-minute thirty seconds start your heart pumping and they follow it up with Stay Under, a searing, dance able anthems you'd expect to come from across the pond, but the band pulls it off with such confidence that you never think they are simply following some of the acts that are already making waves. Where's Your Boyfriend? uses some perfect hand claps and lead female vocals

For a debut record, the band offers up remarkable restraint and control. Sure, they keep it rough and the band is full of potential, but that doesn't mean the polish isn't there. All too often, young energetic bands stumble back to the same riffs, themes and pace, but MBMG spices up tracks with piano (missmybabygirl) or by taking the foot of the gas with the theatrical tones of Tell Them Everything; a track that lets Aimee's vocals offer a more guttural, Joan Jett punch to contrast the delicate tones that dance in the background.

Nice sequencing allows MGMB to flow naturally into the slow burn of A Hammond Organ Singing. Akira's vocals are smoothed out, emotional and move in tandem with the beautiful Hammond notes and acoustic strums that frame the track. The slow pace helps you become a part of the song, and the band pulls off a perfect slow build towards a searing finish. I've never seen these guys play live, but if this isn't the set closer, I'm not sure what could be.

Critics might mention that I Might As Well Break It is top heavy, but even when the band starts to stumble - like on Leave the Army, Lose Completely - they manage to right the ship with sudden bursts of creativity that are beyond their years and experience. The repetitive chorus and shout/sung vocals are refreshed by a flourish of tribal drums and muted guitar strums.

MBMG has done more with their debut record than could be expected. They've shown heaps of potential, written a few instant hits that will have fans packing into their gigs, and showed they have enough creativity and desire to be around for years to come. They might not save rock 'n roll, but MBMG certainly shows it's not dead.

Posted at 10:11 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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