Did you ever see that episode of the original Twilight Zone where the journalist had the haunted typewriter? It worked like this: He’d sit down, type a made up story and the next day that shit would really happen, giving him the ultimate scoop on all his dumb journalist friends. Pretty good episode, actually. Well, there’s a band of kids from Ontario called Junior Battles who seem to have that same kind of thing going on right now, minus the typewriter. It’s almost like one of ‘em has a genie crammed up their ass or something. Take the story of their success for example: One night, they’re sitting around wildly dreaming about being able to put a record out on Paper and Plastick and the very next day they get an email from P&P overlord, Vinnie, out of the blue, asking if they want to do a record. Next, they asked for the best bio in the world and hey! What do you know? Anyhoo…these canucks are more than just Kreskin-like predictors of the future, they’re also ushering in the bold new era of what can only be referred to as post-beard rock, playing heartfelt, angular pop punk that reminds you of your favorite bands without being derivative, and they’re bringing it to you people with Idle Ages, their full length debut, coming out on P&P on June 28. You heard it here folks!
Hey! What else? Well, for one thing, Idle Ages boasts an amazing cadre of guest musicians, including Damian from Fucked Up, Franz Nicolay of Hold Steady and Against Me! fame and Matt from Bomb the Music Industry. The album title, I’m told comes from the notion of being stuck in a mid 20’s malaise, and living paycheck to paycheck (they spell it cheque, which, let’s be frank, is adorable) and the results are the kind of meat and potatoes punk influenced rock you’ve come to expect from the P&P stable with an emphasis on weariness and dare I say, ennui. The dudes in Junior Battles cite influences like Jawbox, Jawbreaker, Superchunk and Jesus Lizard, which are pretty goddamned unimpeachable, and Idle Ages features pop-punk that’s bouncy, herky-jerky and destined to sit them at the smart kids (nerd) table, somewhere between the professors in Bad Religion and the poetry kids in Brand New. Beyond that, these dudes decided to spruce up the gash a bit and read ancient Japanese texts backwards into the mix all while subtly layering pianos and timpanis over their new take on a classic punk sound. If it wasn’t for the fact that these are the kinds of dudes that sleep on floors and force their poor drummer to eat at Waffle House against his will every day on tour, you may be tempted to say that shit sounds pretentious, but in fact, in the world of Junior Battles and Idle Ages, it’s nothing more than the attention to detail that is part and parcel with doing shit the right way.
Junior Battles will be touring their dicks off in support of Idle Ages. I mean, look at the writing on the wall, people: They’re young, they’re disenfranchised and they’re feeling trapped by their age and their jobs. The opportunity to hit the world stage and rock out for any and everyone sure beats the hell out of sitting around Ontario saving up enough bile and vitriol for a follow up. So expect the courtesy you’ve come to take for granted from the Canadian citizenry at large, accompanied by a healthy respect for the roots of aggressive rock and roll and a dick-melting dose of gumption as brought forth by only the types of kids who can put together a record with all the idiosyncrasies, all the crazy guests and all the ambition of Idle Ages. They’re gonna rock your town’s nuts off, thank you for coming and fall asleep on your floor without realizing that they just renewed your faith in punk rock. You’d be a real asshole to miss out on that, eh?