Junior Battles – self-titled 7″

Junior Battles 7" coverJunior Battles are another recent discovery and another I’m really pleased to have been introduced to. Hailing from Toronto – home of Cancer Bats, Broken Social Scene, Holy Fuck and the unstoppable Fucked Up among others – Junior Battles play irrepressible and infectious pop-punk that’s kinda 90s throwback in sound but doesn’t simply mimic what’s come before.

Apparently they’ve toured the US with O Pioneers!!! and there are some similarities there, especially in the tongue-in-cheek song titles (‘Major Label Bidding War’ and the Back to the Future hat-tipping ‘Roads? Where We’re Going, We Definitely Need Roads’) although Junior Battles are less with the gruff ‘n roll and considerably cleaner… plus they have some amazing melodies. Like all the best pop-punk that’s what they really nail; catchy guitars and vocal lines backed up by a fat bass sound and restrained, precise drums. In the lead guitar work I’m also picking up elements of The Menzingers and once or twice (chiefly in the intro and verse of ‘Update Your Resume’) there are even traces of Leatherface and Jawbreaker.

For my money ‘Roads’ is the standout track and it’s an awesome closer; yet another punk rock paean to the shitty van and being on the road it successfully brings together everything most awesome about the other three tracks and distils it down to pop-punk brilliance: “We’ve had a real good time, we’ve got a few good friends and gasoline. We’re got a five hour drive, we’ve got to make it home and go to sleep.”

I fucking love pop-punk, so trust me when I say that this is pop-punk done right. Check it out! Free download from IYMI at the link below, or buy a copy from Square Up if you’re a ‘weenil nerd’.

Myspace | If You Make It | Square Up Records

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