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Leviride, The Night of the Drive-By

Toronto-based Leviride’s third full-length release, The Night of the Drive-By, captures a band discovering their sound. No doubt this is partly due to the thoughtful and layered production of Frank Gryner (White Zombie, The Dandy Warhols), who helped Leviride create an aggressive, yet interesting rock radio album.

But while listening to Night of the Drive-By, the band’s sound reminded me of Can-Rock from ’94-’97, and especially bands like Age of Electric, the harder edges of Moist, and the vocal phrasing of The Watchmen. However, these guys aren’t throwbacks, as Leviride still has an indie rock sound (see “Venerable Homecomings” and “Future Shock”), which is more in common to current Canadian rock chart-toppers.

Opening with “As I Lay Me Down to Sleep,” it’s pretty apparent that Leviride are going to pick you up, and nail you in the face with as much brute force as possible. This esthetic is strengthened by Leviride’s relentless attack on the title track (which features an incredibly produced rumble bass), and the manic twirl of album highlight “Seldom Does.” Accomplished singer-songwriter Emm Gryner lends her talents to two of my favorite tracks, arena rocker “Remains” and the acoustic based heart-breaker “Foul Play.”

Unfortunately, like the bane of other arena rockers, some of Leviride’s material starts to sound alike, but there’s still pure enjoyment to be found in these catchy, sing-a-long rock anthems. (Universal Music Canada/Addictive Records) Rating: 3 Out Of 5 Stars

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