Young Rival outshines The Job at Call The Office

Hamilton rock band shows local headliner who’s boss

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Aron D'Alesio

Gazette File Photo

OOPS, MY SHIRT FELL OPEN. Young Rival lead guitarist Aron D’Alesio rocks out with a lively London crowd Friday at Call The Office.

On Friday night Call The Office was the site of three up-and-coming Canadian indie rock bands: Invasions, Young Rival and The Job. All three sets were solid, but Young Rival stood out as the band to watch in 2009.

Garage-pop outfit Invasions started off the show on a feel-good note with its poppy sound and catchy hooks. On the downside, most of the crowd had not yet piled into Call The Office, so the audience was limited.

The four-piece band from Toronto wore dress shirts and skinny ties, a gimmicky choice of clothes overdone by bands like The Hives and Franz Ferdinand. But its music made up for any misgivings, especially the song “Helpless Magic,” a crowd-pleaser with all the makings of a hit single.

Young Rival was sandwiched in between the opening and closing bands, but its performance was the highlight of the night. Young Rival’s sound is diverse and incorporates a relaxed 1960s sensibility with modern garage rock. Lead singer Aron D’Alesio’s lo-fi vocal delivery gives the impression of effortlessness and works well with the band’s casual vibe.

While The Job may have headlined the show, it seemed the crowd came to see Young Rival. The band’s rising popularity is evident as its self-titled EP recently peaked at number two on the CBC Radio 3 top 30 countdown. Young Rival has opened for such big names on the indie circuit as King Khan & The Shrines, The Bicycles and, later this month, Nikolai Fraiture of The Strokes.

Garnering four-star reviews from Eye Weekly and NOW Magazine, Young Rival’s budding success is well deserved based on the short, but convincing set it performed.

Formed in 2007 in the back room of London’s Grooves Records, punk rock quartet The Job raised the energy level as its intense performance got the crowd head banging and fist pumping.

Having just released its first self-titled EP, The Job is a new band but its lyrics counter any accusations of naïveté. Frontman Nyles Miszczyk belted out verse after verse with an angry punk sneer, such as: “Things aren’t the way that they were yesterday/ seems that you’ve stayed the same but the times how they’ve changed.” Guitarist Jay Holinaty also contributed on vocals, adding another layer with the occasional growl.

Their set could have been longer, but given the show’s late start time and The Job’s small catalogue of music, they made the best of what they had to work with.

At the cost of a mere seven dollars, a cheaper cover than many London clubs, live Canadian music at Call The Office is always a good bet.

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