Album review: 'Yer Guises' by The Allovers
By Alanna Hadley
The Allovers is a fun band that makes fun music… And that’s about it... Okay. Sorry. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me be more specific.
FROM THE TOP!
The Allovers are a punk-pop fusion formed in 2011 comprised of drummer Garrett Heath Kruger, Bassist Paul Arnusch, and guitarist Matt Pahl. Today, I will be giving you a quick peek inside their debut album, Yer Guises. But fair warning: the trio makes fun music, but it lacks substance. Their music makes you want to move and shake, but the words won’t make you think. Straight from their Facebook page, and I quote, ‘’…the Edmonton/Calgary hybrid has a way of combining genres that’s unique to them, all the while writing songs that either make you think twice or not think at all...’’
As soon as you press play, you’re welcomed with a track that will make you want to shake and jump, or should I say – hop. So the title, “Blue Kangaroo,” is extremely fitting. Speaking of fitting, let us talk about vocals. THEY. CAUGHT. ME. OFF. GUARD. It’s like he attempted to mask his shortcomings as a lyricist with a surprise. Where are the balloons? The cake? Although the vocals originally surprised me, they fit the track like a glove. The song is anything but crappy, but it’s reminiscent of something you’d see in a crappy teen beach movie.
I might as well talk about the following two tracks at the same time because they sound the exact same. “Tub Time” is quite a cute, little song! It’s like an adult version of Rubber Duckie from Sesame Street! And its 16 second longer twin, ‘’Dog Team Cooperation,’’ is almost a mirror image of “Tub Time” but with a few alterations… Well, for one… They’re saying different words. They also added dog barking and a ‘’loop-like’’ chorus, both of which I really enjoyed and both of which can get annoying. Very fast. But I liked it! To me, these two seem like the tracks with the least amount of work applied. I wouldn’t call them the worst tracks, but both seemed to be missing a bridge, and generally, feel flat.
But on to my favorite song on the album! I could listen to this song on repeat. When I first heard ‘’Hitchcock Twist,” I didn’t know whether to shiver in fear or do the actual twist. Although it’s only a minute and 30 seconds, it quickly gave this 80’s Halloween nostalgia like something you’d hear playing at party in Halloween Town. It had an extremely unique vibe compared to the rest of the album, which is what I think really attracted me to it.
I have never heard a song written in the point of view of a broken-down lawn mower, and if I hadn’t been given that information before listening to ‘’Rinky Dink,” I most definitely would have put those pieces together. One thing I noticed in this song, and the entire album, is the impressive use of their instruments. They use each of their instruments without one overpowering another,which otherwise would be fantastic! But in this case, although the instruments are both equally appreciated, the vocals were overpowered and left me feeling like they were an afterthought.
This next was another one of the good pumpkins in the patch. You may not like it at first, but it just starts to grow on you, like mold. ‘’Hey Joey’’ was albeit repetitive and unique in the slightest of ways (which in hindsight is a big deal for this album), but it was honestly rather good. There is a very strong vintage feeling it exudes. Its chorus is infectiously catchy and makes for really good background noise. I guess in this case the repetitiveness is a good thing.
The third to last track is pure 60’s sock hop music! The correct way to listen to ‘’Sugar Shed’’ is by putting a quarter in a jukebox and play this while dancing around a diner in your pink poodle skirt. I don’t know if it was my computer’s speaker or what, but there was this weird screeching of the guitar that sounded like static from a tv. But other than that problem that was most likely my fault, the bubblegum-pop song sounded like a hit to me!
And last, but not least, the final track of the album! The track titled ‘’The Allovers Theme’’ was an adorable end to the album with a fantastic guitar solo and velvet vocals. And again, I don’t know if it was my computer, but this track in particular had a lot of that static-y guitar screeching. I think this was a great closer to the album. Sounding like almost every other track, it really reminded you of what the other 14 sound like.
I am not a professional music critiquer, I’m just a girl with strong opinions and an even stronger love for music. Now, after listening to this album many, many, many times, I can tell you this: they are not special. That’s just the truth. But this band has SO MUCH POTENTIAL. Right now, they seem like a ‘’rock’’ band for children. The Allovers could truly go somewhere if they put more effort into each song individually. They have undeniable talent, but so do 200 other pop-punk bands waiting to be discovered. And something to remember is, it depends on what kind of person you are. If you enjoy music with meaning and purpose, then this isn’t the music for you. It’s senseless noise, really good senseless noise, but senseless noise nonetheless.
This is only 8 out of the 15 songs on the album. (YES 15!!!!!) If you’d like to hear the album in its entirety, Yer Guises is now available for pre-order at anxiousandangry.com and will be officially released on May 19th.
To connect with the band, you can find them on Facebook: (https://www.facebook.com/TheAllovers)