Calgary’s Port Juvee have released their debut EP, Revenge, a rollicking show of their garage influenced rock. The group have a knack for creating real jams, evidently drawing influence from bands like The Strokes and fellow Calgarians, The Dudes. Produced by Justin Gerrish, who has worked with the likes of Vampire Weekend and Weezer, Port Juvee’s debut finds them staying true to their roots while displaying a sound influenced by the New York scene of the 2000s.
The EP begins with “Toe The Line,” a direct indie rock number that showcases a strong bassline and off-the-cuff lyrics. Staccato guitar accentuates the vocal melody, later taking over the song for a brief solo. “All That’s Fine” is dancier than the first track, and features a catchy beat paired with poppy guitars. The song’s bridge shows the band’s strength in creating rock songs that are from the heart. Third song and title track, “Revenge,” has vocal and guitar lines that mirror each other. Darker lyrics are paired with a melody in a major key, creating a nice contrast that keeps the listener engaged.
The latter half of the album starts out even more upbeat in terms of melody, with “Half The Time I’d Rather Be Waiting” communicating the band’s wistful ethos lyrically. The instrumentation in this song is really clear and solid – to the point, like good rock should be. Thumping bass opens “Just The Thing,” the guitar accenting the desperation evident in the lyrics. The rhythm section really drives this song, which is full of energy. “Rooks” slows things down in ballad form to conclude the EP. It’s refreshing to hear the band reduce their tempo a bit, yet still retain the spirit present in their previous songs.
Melding indie and garage rock, Port Juvee are making great music for lovers of the New York sound. Revenge shows a comfortable group of musicians who have written enjoyable songs that exhibit their individual and collective talents. Extensive touring has clearly benefited the band, given how cohesive they already sound on their debut. I am excited to hear what they do next!
Revenge is available now via Bandcamp.
Top Tracks: “All That’s Fine,” “Revenge,” “Toe The Line”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)