Published May 08, 2018Little Junior is early to the party for the inevitable wave of 2000s nostalgia. With the type of bratty pop punk that sounds like it belongs on the CD soundtrack to American Pie, Royal Mountain's latest four-piece are masters of the early aughts. After all, these are the guys who unironically covered Wheatus's "Teenage Dirtbag" at a show in Toronto last fall.
Hi is something like a musical period piece, capturing a time when Lit was a band, not an adjective, and Razor scooters were all it took to be cool. Tracks like "Cry Baby" and "20 Something" are perfect little pop punk numbers, equally good for moshing or crossing your arms and pouting to. Vocalist Rane Elliott-Armstrong does an impeccable job bringing a sort of snot-nosed attitude to these tunes, with a voice that practically screams "boo-hoo."
"Accolades" is perhaps the most contemporary sounding song on the collection, reminiscent of something a Death From Above or Queens of the Stone Age might come up with. It's no doubt the most playlist-friendly, but the band arguably shines the brightest when going all in on the sound they know best, like on the agitated "Buzz Off."
Hi easily earns Little Junior a spot among the pantheon of Toronto slacker darlings like Pkew Pkew Pkew, Dilly Dally, and PUP. It's an instant must-listen to for fans of this genre or for those looking to explore the latest sounds of the city. (Royal Mountain Records)