“Stay Young” is the most recently released album of Canadian garage-pop trio Young Rival. The band sounds like something out of the British Invasion combined with the Beach Boys with added indie rock flavor, often using catchy guitar riffs to pull in their listeners. I can specifically detect a good deal of guitar styles similar to that of the Strokes. If you’re looking for music that is just flat out fun to listen to, look no further. The album is track after track of catchy, upbeat music with the exception of the eighth track, Lost, which is significantly slower and more somber than the others.
The album’s songs can basically be divided into three categories based on the previously stated influences on the band’s sound;
The influence that the British Invasion has can be heard in the songs Black Popcorn, Let It Go, Better Things To Do, and Night Song, the Beach Boys’ influence can be heard on Two Reasons, and the Strokes can be heard in Nothing You Know Well, I Don’t Care, Black Is Good, and Valerie. However, most of these songs are an eclectic mix of several of these influences.
The strongest track in my opinion is Black Is Good, a track that immediately launches into a quick, offbeat guitar progression and perfectly matching vocals. For the chorus the band breaks into a loud, more straightforward section. The entire song is just pure fun. Go ahead, take a listen, I promise you won’t regret it.
A few other noteworthy songs on the album are Nothing You Know Well, Two Reasons, Better Things To Do, Valerie, and Lost.
Nothing You Know Well is another song where the vocals just go with the rest of the music so well.
I can’t mention Better Things To Do without mentioning Two Reasons because the former is basically a continuation of the latter. Two Reasons asks for two reasons why the singer should stay with a girl who is dishonest and untrustworthy while Better Things To Do is the singer breaking off a relationship with a girl who could be described the same way. I enjoy the upbeat Beach Boys music and vocals despite very bitter and aggressive lyrics. And the “fuck you” attitude and bluesy tone of Better Things To Do is just awesome.
Valerie, is probably one of the most Strokes-sounding song on the album and it is wonderful. Despite semi-monotonous vocals, the guitar and fast-paced drums make it a big feel-good song.
Unfortunately, Lost is notable because it is, in my opinion, the weakest track by far. This is not because it is a bad song, per se , but rather because it just doesn’t go with the rest of the album. While the other tracks are upbeat and fun, Lost is comparatively slow and depressing. I personally believe that it is not a bad song, but that it doesn’t really have a place on the album.
As a whole, “Stay Young” was very good, very fun, and I would highly recommend it. You can buy it as well as other material from Young Rival at their Bandcamp.