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Album Reviews, Music

Album Review: Arkells – “Rally Cry”

By: Jessica Nakamoto –



Arkells - Rally Cry

After 2016-17 saw their blockbuster single “Knocking At The Door” reach fourteen weeks at #1 on the Canadian Alternative chart and boast North American television coverage from the Superbowl to the World Series, Arkells fans have clamored with excitement over the prospect of new music. And much to their delight, Canadian rockers, Max Kerman (vocals), Mike DeAngelis (guitar), Nick Dika (bass), Anthony Carone (keyboard), and Tim Oxford (drums), will soon be delivering just that.

Set for release on October 19, the four-time JUNO award winners not only respond to the building hype, but blow away expectations with their fifth studio album. Recorded in tandem with Arkells’ 2016 Morning Reporttour, Rally Cryreflects the same high dose of enthusiasm and charisma that the group brings to live shows across Canada and beyond. This form of electric energy is distinctly felt throughout the record, and as a result, each offering on the ten-song track list consists of both uplifting and perfectly punchy alt-rock pieces.

Known for their clap-along beat and piano forward melodies, Arkells continue to flex a signature musical ability; weaving seamlessly between pop and rock-based influences all the while touching upon the full spectrum of human emotion with considerable ease.

While songs such as “People’s Champ” and “Company Man” particularly stand out with their edgy tone and rebellious zeal (a masterful and empowering Canadian perspective on the not always flattering beast of American politics), tracks such as “Only For A Moment” shine with the reminder that if we continue choose positivity, we can rise up against the odds for results that are “better than a fantasy”.

Yet, in addition to these strong and high-caliber pieces, some of Rally Cry’s greatest standout work actually comes from tracks like “Only For A Moment” that aren’t overtly outright in their meaning, but subtly emotional and heartfelt. Finding the joy and cherishing the bright spots in otherwise gloomy situations, lines such as “At karaoke we were trading each verse. You wore my jacket and I carried your purse. For a moment, tonight. Only for a moment. Yeah, we could feel alright” hits listeners with their relatability. In other words, it’s small moments like these that continue to support the connective property of Arkells’ music in a beautifully understated form.

Thus, from calls to action to a genuine “rally” of heartfelt emotions, Arkells find success in their ability to leave listeners with a smile on their face.

Recommended Tracks: Only For A Moment / People’s Champ / Relentless

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