Album Review: The Elwins– Play For Keeps

Review by Sean Lynch

RIYL: San Cisco, Native Thieves, Grouplove

Recommended Tracks: “You Have Me,” “Off The Wall,” “Away Too Long”

Canada–land of hockey and the metric system–has added another claim to fame which happens to be The Elwins. The band hailing from Keswick, Ontario has taken the pop-rock world by storm with appearances at festivals including SXSW, CMW and POP Montreal. With the release of their album Play For Keeps, The Elwins give us 39 minutes of happiness and pure energy and show us the real pop in pop-rock.

“Away Too Long” is the bounciest song on the album. The guitar jumps along with the vocals creating a vibrant feeling throughout the song. The vocals from Matthew Sweeney are loud, but still have a soft feel. The drums have a quick tempo and bounce back and forth off of each other. This song really shows the balance between pop and rock on the album with its composition, giving the best of both worlds.

“You Have Me” has a similar vibe to “Away Too Long” through its happiness and power. The vocals still have a light and soft sound, but they are delivered at a quicker pace and louder volume. The song utilizes a plethora of synths compared to other songs on the album. The guitar definitely has more pick action instead of the strumming found in other songs. Even with all these differences, the song sounds like the rest of the album while having its own distinct qualities.

Play For Keeps is an album that could appeal to anyone looking for some great Pop-Rock music. The catchy choruses will keep you singing along, while the energetic guitar parts will get you dancing your heart out. If you love pop-rock, then you will be thrilled to listen to Play For Keeps.


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