Faraway melodies and a coastal garage rock groove usher in CRIMEWAVE, the sophomore release from Canadian punk rockers Port Juvee. The tinny, old school vocals keep the album relaxed and almost melancholic. Brett Sandford’s calm singing voice weaves in and out of the rhythm section like a radio wave, occasionally aligning with the guitars, creating the illusion that the guitars are singing right along with him. While it’s quite a short album, only seven tracks, CRIMEWAVE rejuvenates an 80s punk vibe while still appearing beachy and relaxed.
The first single released off CRIMEWAVE lives up to its name. “Double Vision” has a sense of a time-lapsed music video with rushed melodies and urgent drum beats. The lyrics beg for attention from some archetypal ‘you’; a common musical technique that rears its head in most modern songs. The deliberate guitar scaling and plucks bring the track to a graceful, energetic close.
That urgency in “Double Vision” ebbs and flows throughout the rest of the album, surging on “CRIMEWAVE” and fading on “Slowly By.” Title track “CRIMEWAVE” embodies the need for escape with lyrics like: We ain’t coming back here tonight / when there’s just no way out / we got the crime wave. The proverbial crime wave is quick, fast, and either snatches you or passes by.
Port Juvee’s latest release sounds dark and edgy and I want more. CRIMEWAVE swells up in a heartbeat but ends too soon. It’s astonishing there’s even time for the few slow jams tucked at the end.
THE GIST: CRIMEWAVE is short, sweet, and to the point. They revive a laid back 80s punk vibe and meld it with surfy garage sounds.