Break Out Toronto Bands: Young Rival
It's surprising that the grainy, sun-flicked rock of Young Rival hasn't already become a fixture of every Toronto restaurant and cafe's indie playlist, but perhaps that's just a tactic by business owners to deflect every patron from enthusiastically asking "what song is this?"
That's why I'll overlook that this band is technically from Hamilton. Let's extend our reach for Young Rival â they deserve it.
Who are they...
Like a job, relationship, or Cheeto, your current band is usually not your first. Such is the case for Young Rival, who crafted barn stomping, station wagon make-out inflicted rock from 2002-2006 as a group called The Ride Theory.
After releasing two full length albums, guitarist Kyle Kuchmey left the band, while the remaining members, singer/guitarist Aron D'Alesio, bassist John Smith, and drummer Noah Fralick went on to ensure this blog post would one day happen by forming Young Rival. Riffs got licked, basslines grew their beards out, a self titled debut followed in 2010, and by the end of 2012 their essential sophomore LP Stay Young was modestly becoming the hot topic of banal discussion amongst the cardigans of record store employees.
What they sound like...
The last tall can in the park, a roll of film you just got developed, impromptu bon firesâthere's a lot that Young Rival's heartfelt and wide eyed rock evokes, but predominately they instill those fuzzy reverb feelings. As the title of their latest album implies, their songwriting circles around the opposing pulls of being too young to work, but too old to just have fun. The familiar feeling that every summer is not without its bummer is permeated by breezy arrangements reminiscent of fellow garage rockers Smith Westerns.
The band has stated its less concerned with the current trajectory of modern music and instead take their inspirational cues from classic acts like The Kinks and The Yardbirds, making songs like "let it go" and "lost" sound like they're winking at your father's records collection.
While they flirt with the sounds of the past, the group presents an undeniably current interpretation of those ageless genres, and D'Alesio's sharp vocals nudge pretty close to echoing indie maestro Julian Casablanca at times. Above all though, it's not just about who informs your music or which other band you'd be great to open for; Young Rival sound like Young Rival, and that sound is just right.
Hear them/ See them
After just returning from a summer European tour, the band is laying relatively dormant for the moment. Never a group to sit completely still though, they collect hometown hero status in their residence of Hamilton with a show at the Supercrawl on September 14th, then don some lederhosen for Beau's Oktoberfest party out in the 'somebody please open Google maps backwood of Vankleek Hill.
The up's and down's of their life as a touring band was candidly captured in this years documentary Authentic: Young Rival's Journey through Canada which will hopefully see a release by next year. In the meantime, find them on iTunes, or in your local record shop.
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