I associate most of my music with seasons. I tend to keep metal and heavier things for the winter months (or whenever it rains, which is just about every other day in Vancouver), classical music for the spring and fall, and I absolutely love my punk (pop, rock, skate, crust, or otherwise) for the warm, sticky, summer months.
I grew up in the south of Quebec, where the drinks are stiff, summers are humid and thick, and where people everywhere listen to their punk loudly and proudly, and though I now live in the unofficial rain capital of the world, my summers are still punctuated with the same three, fast-paced chords, scratchy vocals, and drowned-out bass that made punk so popular.
I am therefore always on the lookout for the next good summer release, the next album that will take me right back to my younger years where all I did from June to August was sip iced tea in the hammock in my mother’s backyard, pretentiously reading Pushkin. A strong contender this year is Little Brother, an EP released in March of 2015 by Eavesdrop, a quintet from Toronto.
Two things jumped at my summer ears when I gave the first EP a listen:
1) All the songs on the EP sound like they could have found themselves on a Matchbook Romance record circa 2003.
2) Ken Galbraith’s voice sounds eerily like the combined voices of Less Than Jake’s Roger Lima and Chris Demakes.
The songs on the album are quite short (the entire album is less than 16 minutes long) but every single one oozes the influence of some of the greats that have paved the way for Eavesdrop, starting with “Missing The Point” which sounds like early The Ataris, following by “Cellophane” which has a vibe truly reminiscent of MxPx. “Another Year” sounds a lot like something from All Time Low’s album Nothing Personal, “Talk Too Much” reminded me of Cartel’s “Let’s Go,” and the last song of the EP, “Home Alone,” is like a sonic ode to Blink 182.
From the very audible influences of the band, one could imagine that Little Brother would be just another EP amongst all the others, but the unique and raucous voice of singer Ken Galbraith not only makes the familiar sounds palatable, but actually very enjoyable.
Eavesdrop’s EP is not going to reinvent the genre, and it might not win any awards (except maybe the “Most Likely To Cause Irreparable Damage To My Hearing After Listening To It For The 500th Time A Little Too Loud” award) but it is more than adequate.
Little Brother is a 16-minute gift from the pop punk gods that’s good enough to listen to over and over again all summer long.
Written by Kai Robidas