What’s that you say? ‘The punk album of 2019’? Ahhh, c’mon man, it’s way too early for grand statements like that.
What, you think you can make this claim? Just because Vancouver trio Corner Boys have managed to mesh the finest elements of Good Vibrations heroes like Rudi, Protex and (sure) The Undertones with the buzzsaw powerpop of their city forefathers, the Pointed Sticks? Just because songs like (I’m Such A) Mess flow so effortlessly into your consciousness that you’ll start wondering how your brain ever functioned without ‘em? Hell, just because this might just be a perfectly-executed example of the sort of spiky, addictively essential treat we’d all started to wonder if we’d ever hear again?
‘Waiting For The 2020’ follows a duo of excellent singles (2017’s Just Don’t Care and last year’s Love Tourist, released by Drunken Sailor and Dirt Cult respectively) and it doesn’t just pick up where they left off – it does what you always hope the follow-up to an opening salvo will do. It takes the promise they set forth and does way more than merely deliver on it, instead providing us with hook after hook and pogo-worthy pop classic after pogo-worthy pop classic. It makes you want to bounce around the room and dance on the steering wheel of a bulldozer as it ploughs through the local Conservative club… only to flip the disc and return the needle to the start as soon as it leaves the groove.
So no, let’s not call it the punk album of 2019 just yet; let’s give it some time to breathe and see how we all feel many months down the line. Still, sometimes you just get a hunch…
Our take: After two 7”s here’s the debut album from this Vancouver punk band. Waiting for 2020 has UK 1978 written all over it. Like the Lurkers, the Users, or the Cortinas, Corner Boys attack their music with rambunctious energy and an obvious love for simple and catchy pop songs. While the vocalist is monotone and the rhymes can be leaden, the lack of professional polish only increases the record’s charm. And when they hit upon a striking melody (like the lead guitar riff in the Undertones-esque “Norman”) you root for them like they’re an underdog team. That’s not to say that Corner Boys are sloppy and amateurish, rather that there’s a human touch to their music I very much appreciate. If you loved ’77 throwback from the early 00s (particularly the Briefs) but eventually found that sound too polished, this is well worth a listen.