What do you get when you take Radiohead and The Strokes, but make it modern post-grunge? Alt-rock band, The Effens, and their new single “Pavement Age” that was released today.
The Effens hail from Toronto; their Facebook page describes them as a “hyper-strange post-grunge and glam pop four piece who seem to take in all the vagaries of the internet age and recycle them into something unique and fantastic,” which I believe is a very suitable illustration of their unique and raucous sound.
You can hear exactly what I mean in their new single that incorporates bits of electronic internet noise that might make you cringe with a memory of the teeth-grinding sound computers used to make when they were booting up (90s kids, you know what I mean).
“Pavement Age” jumps right in with lyrics containing themes of religion, very much in a Vampire Weekend reminiscent fashion, and the inevitability of humans making errors despite acting like we all know what is to come or trying to change it. Depicted on the track’s cover is a pink and grainy Mary mother of god statue, which supports these themes with a twist on the iconic image.
The chorus repeats “Oh no, I can change” with vocals that build in intensity and is followed by an exciting and scattered riff meets harsh digital clamor. Next, the lyrics call out humanity’s shameful ignorance in times when the truth is right in front of us:
Told us the truth // The blood’s on our hands // Holding the proof now // We still ignore
Sound familiar? It should as we all grew up with ancient stories of Hubris or the Garden of Eden, in which humankind repeatedly goes against what they know to be true or right because of ego. And it especially resonates now, with the world and political climate being what they are. What is pavement other than a hard material that can’t be broken through? The “Pavement Age” is now and it will always be.
A minute-long guitar solo and upbeat drum sequel conclude the song, leaving us with echoes of a haunting tune. The band who released their awesome EP Unsafe in 2019 are clearly back with an effen good song that I only hope is a prelude to more to come.