Kiwi Jr: Football Money review – terrific collage of college rock and classic pop

Fri, Jan 17, 2020, 05:00


Football Money

Kiwi Jr.

Persona Non Grata


Originally from Prince Edward Island in Canada but now based in the rather more structured cityscape of Toronto, Kiwi Jr provide the year’s first glimpses into what might have happened if Jonathan Richman & the Lovers, REM, The Kinks and Pavement got it together in a studio with The Strokes. Welcome to a terrific collage of North American college rock and classic British pop, the resultant sound of a band in the thick of it for fun and games.

In the best tradition of their influences, Kiwi Jr don’t mess about – they deliver 10 songs in less than 30 minutes, an assertiveness that speaks of an approach befitting the music: short, sharp and defined bursts of new wave pop that are over before you have time to figure out the tune.

The group’s main songwriter Jeremy Gaudet, meanwhile, supplies (ala Ray Davies, and perhaps a more contemporary influence, Fountains of Wayne) songs with observant lyrics full of deftly outlined characters.

From semi-forgotten, self-destructive rock stars (Swimming Pool, which features, somewhat tackily, perhaps, a chorus of “Brian Jones”) and sad-sack office workers (Salary Man) to super-rich soccer players (the title track, a reference to French footballer Paul Pogba) and unlikely ambitions (Gimme More – “gimme X-ray vision in the infantry division”) the album takes a wry look at lives in the slow and fast lanes. Without the brakes on.