Toronto’s Kiwi Jr. has something special in their hands. There’s never a dull moment in their debut LP “Football Money”. They’ve taken the best parts out of all the giant indie rock bands in the past few decades and made something of their own. This album will hook you with its melodies and feel-good power pop tunes. You’ll hear similarities to Weezer, The Kinks, The Strokes and a myriad of other influences tucked into each song. This feels like a love letter to the genre and the perfect record to pump you up.
On top of that, Kiwi Jr’s distinguishing feature is its thoughtful lyricism. It explores a lot of profound themes, which may get lost in the easy-going jangle and witty one-liners. But it will surely catch up with you on subsequent listens.
Starting with the catchy “Murder in the Cathedral”, the album immerses us in a coming of age story, where we find ourselves lost in a new city after leaving our hometown (A million people’s faces / is a hard act to follow). “Leslie” will get you seduced by its surf rock riffs and classic rock nostalgia with a stellar guitar solo. It follows the titular character and her antics as she drops out of college and slacks off her life away.
“Salary Man” contrasts the bleak and boring desk job with its jangly riffs and endearing melody. This song doesn’t pull any punches and hits home on every level. It perfectly captures that feeling of leaving behind our childlike wonder and artistic endeavors when forced to make a living.
This album also packs a lot of bite. The title track is a power pop romp that throws shade at the highschool athlete who peaked too early in life. “Nothing Changes” is a collection of rants delivered in a tongue in cheek fashion. Poking fun at indie band stereotypes: “Everybody looks like a lumberjack / More guitars!” and complains about city life where: “Everything is out of my price range”.
Football Money is an album you can sink your teeth into and never get bored. The craftsmanship here is exquisite, from the clear mix of instruments to the dynamic song structures that never seem to drag out. Not a second is wasted in its 10 tracks, all clocking in at 27 minutes. If you’re missing that atmosphere of being in a live venue, watching your favorite local act with all your friends and enjoying cheap beer. This is the next best thing to tide you over.
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