by Tiana Feng
Release Date: August 5th, 2014
Label: Universal Music Canada
After winning a Juno for Group of the Year for their 2012 album, Michigan Left, Arkells switched to a more modern production for their third LP High Noon.
There’s a certain harshness in High Noon that wasn’t really present in their earlier music. It’s far from “aggressive” music but you can hear what I’m talking about in the opener “Fake Money”, protesting economic power. Don’t worry though, they didn’t make that much of a left turn. The band’s penchant for making hooky radio tunes is still there. It’s clear that they write with their live show in mind, to have everybody in the audience singing along with them. “Cynical Bastards” and “Never Thought That This Would Happen” will have you doing this by the end of the song. Motown finds its influences in the piano-driven “Hey Kids!”.
It’s not all angry. 11:11 is a love song about a romantic encounter. This turns into a sort of complicated relationship in “Dirty Blonde”. In “Leather Jacket”, the party-girl is probably a bad influence, because in this generation “who the fuck uses a payphone?”
In High Noon, the Arkells manages to evolve, while maintaining the pop sensibilities that won’t disappoint their loyal fanbase.