Posted on: October 16, 2022 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Elanor Petry

It’s hard to blame Alvvays for not fixing something that isn’t broken. Molly Rankin’s voice is perfectly suitable for their contemporary renditions of late ’80s and early ’90s indie-pop tropes. Countless other bands try to emulate the same sound from the same time period, but Alvvays tends to come out on top in terms of popularity. It helps that their songwriting is still as catchy as ever.

This is perhaps why they remain such an endearing group. Their songs are syrupy sweet, but they don’t hurt the teeth after a while.

Omar Eloiza

Arts & Entertainment Editor

★★★★☆

With the new album “Blue Rev,” listeners looking for something drastically different from their previous records will be sorely disappointed, but those expecting the same big melodies will find a catchy set of songs that not only borrow from classic sounds but mold them into their own.

Opener “Pharmacist” marks a different sound from previous songs. Instead of opening with guitars that are ethereal and light like their idols Cocteau Twins, Alvvays seems to take a slightly different influence for their lead track. They employ the fuzz-heavy distortion and tremolo bends of early ’90s UK shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine, who seem like the most apt comparison at first listen.

“Belinda Says” is the third single from the new album “Blue Rev.”

Songs like “Pharmacist” and “Belinda Says” are the best examples of this louder, anthem-ready music, but in whole “Blue Rev” produces more songs that are ready for festival circuits. These songs don’t stray too far from the formula; instead they seem to be hyper-focused on perfecting it. And they can do no wrong. The album is power pop for the ages.

Then there are songs like “Very Online Guy” that play with a bit of fun experimentation, as Rankin’s voice is processed into an almost pure synthesis, and the overall song has an electro-pop feel without turning into a dance floor number.

Someone who isn’t a big fan of the group may find that the band continues to play it safe. But for those who appreciate the band for who they are, a master group of musicians whose primary concern is simply to make huge melodies and songs full of nostalgia and longing. “Belinda Says” is a great purveyor of this emotion. Its music video even includes one of those intro cards from the MTV years.

With a reference to 80s singer Belinda Carlisle, the song conveys yearning for not only a different time, but a different world altogether: “Bеlinda says that heaven is a place on еarth / Well, so is hell/ And we’ll all get help paradise / And we’ll start another life.”

Alvvays, no matter what sound they seem to be going for, will always shine through with their witty lyrics and amazing songwriting.