I've enjoyed the previous two Young Guv albums without ever writing about them. My peers have reminded me that I should, but neither album has ever hit home and I've probably wrongly labelled them as a singles band. All that has changed with Guv III.
The album is Toronto's Ben Cook's most accomplished and joined up affair yet, it feels and sounds like a proper album. There is a back story to the writing of the album, being quarantined in New Mexico during the lockdown. You can read all about this by following the Bandcamp link at the end of this review.
For all the people who revel in the Is It Power Pop? debate, this is Power Pop through and through and confirms that the genre doesn't have to follow a self enforced dictat. The opener, Couldn't Leave U If I Tried is in Classic Byrds Territory and the Guitar Pop is wonderful throughout.
Good Time is a fine slab of Indie Pop and Take Up All My Time is a great driving song, gentle but toe tapping. Lo Lo Lonely is anthemic, a reminder of Brit Pop. I Ain't Got U is akin to The Lightning Seeds venturing into the other West Coast with s Guitar Riff that takes hold.
Guv III gets even more interesting towards the end. She Don't Cry For Anyone is top notch 60s Psych Pop. Scam Likely goes one better and enters the land of Toytown, a little bit Orgone Box too. April Of My Life is a harmonic, gentle. delightful closer with added flute. All very Baroque Pop!
It is hard enough to find an album that maintains quality all the way through in these front loaded, track grabbing days. The fact that this is an album that gets better and better as it progresses is one that Young Guv should be immensely proud of. Highly Recommended!
You can listen to and buy the album here.