Alvvays, pronounced always, are the latest in a burgeoning line of tech savvy, search engine friendly bands (Chvrches, Wavves, Splashh) who deliberately spell their names incorrectly to ensure they can be found with ease on the internet’s multitude of search engines. It’s a good thing too, after all, have you tried to Google JAWS recently? Despite this decidedly post modern self promotion, on record Alvvays are evidently more than content to walk in step from left to right with the rest of the musical rabble.
The album’s highlights arrive early. “Adult Diversion” is a jaunty, sun filled indie pop gem that harbours just enough propulsion to prevent it’s languid nature from becoming tiresome, while on “Archie, Marry Me”, the Toronto based quintet craft the kind of ear burrowing bouncy yet melancholic chorus that, in an ideal world, would cement its rightful place as the feel good hit of the summer. On top of that, it’s opening couplet of, “You’ve expressed explicitly your contempt for matrimony, you’ve student loans to pay and will not risk the alimony”, is hard to best in terms of bizarrely sensible quirkiness.
Unfortunately, the remainder of the record, which was recorded at Chad Van Gaalen’s home studio, melds together into a lethargic morass of jangly yet reverb laden unremarkable indie pop tunes. “Dives” is intended to be the kind of laidback song that evokes lemonade, summer dresses and Wayfarers but because it’s melody is not exactly unforgettable, it simply drifts by unnoticed like that guy from school whose name you can never remember. The issue is exemplified on album closer “Red Planet”. It’s quaint keyboards and soft drum machine beat are intended to be a soothing and laidback finale for the album but instead are simply entirely twee and bland.
Ultimately, Alvvays is the resoundingly average good fortune in your day. It’s when you have just enough milk left for your morning coffee. It’s when you manage to insert your memory stick into your laptop with your first attempt. Pleasant, but pretty much forgettable.
Alvvays is released on July 22nd via Polvinyl Records.