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Alvvays - Blue Rev (Album Review)

Tuesday, 11 October 2022 Written by Craig Howieson

On Pharmacist, the opening track from Alvvays’ third record ‘Blue Rev’, Molly Rankin sounds as if she is swimming back to the surface, having sprung off a 10 metre diving board. The ensuing Easy On Your Own? shares its submerged, disorienting aesthetic. Synth fuelled shogazing and serrated guitars add intrigue to the band's often pristine sound, making you work that little bit harder for the lyrical rewards Rankin offers up. 

It is an unexpected, but far from unenjoyable, opening to a record from the Canadians, who haven’t released an album in five years now. Normal service is somewhat resumed on After The Earthquake as a Johnny Marr-infected guitar line and jangling guitar chords throw a lifering to previous records. However, even here there is a visceral element to the track that has the band hanging on by their fingernails to keep it together.

Whether it is as a result of a renewed hunger born from their time away, or the newly adopted approach of recording live where possible, at the behest of producer Shawn Everett, Alvvays sound like a band reborn. 

Pomeranian Spinster rolls out like a dystopian version of The Strokes slugging it out with Pavement only to be immediately followed by Belinda Says, a track of epic proportions complete with a rousing key-change in the outro. Both would have seemed unfathomable from the same band in years gone by.

Sometimes serious, often light hearted, and at times utterly scathing, Rankin’s lyrics are once again touchingly relatable on ‘Blue Rev’. The last line of the record feels particularly revelatory as she sings: “I want you to take a shot / I won't shoot you down.” 

It could be to a partner, past or potential. But it could also be to herself, and to her band. ‘Blue Rev’ sounds like Alvvays have made the record they wanted to make as opposed to what was expected of them, free from the fear of being shot down. It was a gamble worth taking.

Alvvays Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri October 14 2022 - CHICAGO Illinois - Riviera Theatre - Chicago (USA)
Sat October 15 2022 - MINNEAPOLIS Minnesota - First Avenue (USA)
Tue October 18 2022 - SALT LAKE CITY Utah - Depot (USA)
Wed October 19 2022 - BOISE - Knitting Factory Concert House Boise (USA)
Thu October 20 2022 - PORTLAND Oregon - Mcmenamins Crystal Ballroom (USA)
Fri October 21 2022 - EUGENE Oregon - Mcdonald Theatre (USA)
Sat October 22 2022 - SEATTLE Washington - Moore Theatre (USA)
Mon October 24 2022 - ARCATA California - Theatre Lounge (USA)
Wed October 26 2022 - SAN FRANCISCO California - Fillmore San Francisco (USA)
Thu October 27 2022 - SAN FRANCISCO California - Fillmore San Francisco (USA)
Sat October 29 2022 - LOS ANGELES California - Wiltern (USA)
Sun October 30 2022 - SAN DIEGO California - Observatory North Park (USA)
Wed November 02 2022 - AUSTIN Texas - Stubbs BarBQ (USA)
Fri November 04 2022 - HOUSTON Texas - White Oak Music Hall (USA)
Sat November 05 2022 - DALLAS Texas - Studio at the Factory (USA)
Mon November 07 2022 - ATLANTA Georgia - Variety Playhouse (USA)
Tue November 08 2022 - NASHVILLE Tennessee - Marathon Music Works (USA)
Wed November 09 2022 - ASHEVILLE North Carolina - Orange Peel (USA)
Fri November 11 2022 - WASHINGTON District Of Columbia - 9:30 Club (USA)
Sat November 12 2022 - PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania - Franklin Music Hall (USA)
Tue November 15 2022 - NEW HAVEN Connecticut - College Street Music Hall (USA)
Wed November 16 2022 - BROOKLYN New York - Kings Theatre (USA)
Fri November 18 2022 - BOSTON Massachusetts - Roadrunner - Boston (USA)
Thu December 15 2022 - TORONTO - History Toronto (USA)
Fri December 16 2022 - TORONTO - History Toronto (USA)

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Related News

Thu 22 Sep 2022
Alvvays Share New Tracks Belinda Says And Very Online Guy
Wed 10 Aug 2022
Alvvays Post New Single Easy On Your Own?
Wed 06 Jul 2022
Alvvays Announce Third Album 'Blue Rev', Share New Song Pharmacist
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