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November 24, 2017


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Tegan and Sara
If It Was You (Vapor Records)

By: Alex Steininger

I've been craving a girl-fronted rock group that can write songs with lots of guitar and noise, while acknowledging the power of melody, and combining the two accordingly. A band that benefits from the sexuality of a persuasive female voice, but doesn't dwell on it, shaking things up with a punk rock snarl. And the band must have an appetite for rock that that can't be suppressed.

When I put on Tegan and Sara's If It Was You, I got what I was looking for. A record that wasn't punk rock, but had more energy and power than most punk rock records these days, something that wasn't pop but had better hooks and smarter melodies than bands that obsess on the pop. And a record with lots of guitars that put plenty of guitar-rock bands to shame.

If It Was You is an indie rock record, not a shoegazing, noodle-y pop disc that has a bit of an electric guitar presence and thus gets shoved off into the indie rock category. It is a refreshing, much needed guitar-pop album that pumps life back into the indie rock world.

"City Girl" is ripe with melody, half rocking, but filled with two-part harmonies and lots of pop action, making it a solid foray into pop-rock. Whereas "Time Running", the album's opening track, is garage-rock that made it out of the garage, impeccably recorded, tight rock 'n' roll that adheres to the principals of garage but with soaring pop hooks and adoring melodies, is so much more than a garage rock song could ever be.

"Not Tonight" is a bit laid back compared to the rocking side of the band, a gentle, steady song that revolves around the sensual voices and singing abilities of Tegan and Sara. And then you have a song like "Terrible Storm", which starts off with vocals and an acoustic guitar, building and building, until it bursts into a wall of melodic guitars and plenty of push from the rhythm section.

Tegan and Sara's If It Was You is a record that should not only be lauded by critics, but should be embraced by fans. It is the indie rock record that indie rock was founded on before the word indie morphed and overpowered the rock. I'll give it an A.

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