Review – “Sweat Shop Crop Top” – Scott Royle

reviewed by Anna Alger

Sweat Shop Crop Top is an introduction to the sound of Scott Royle, an inventive and passionate  songwriter who hails from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Royle has spent nearly a decade playing on the east coast, yet only now has the right time come for his debut to go out into the world.

“nosebleed” kicks off the album, the noisy opening reminiscent of Pavement and Broken Social Scene. Cacophonous drums bash along with Royle as he calls, “So long, Montreal.” “emeline” is similarly high energy, featuring bright guitar and lyrics chockfull of vivid imagery. The song is effect heavy, which heightens its mood. Slowing down the pace of the album and shifting the focus to thick bass tones, “jazz guys” is a darker, grungier track. Meandering piano leads the introspective bridge.

The more relaxed tempo is continued with “new joa,” a simple guitar led number. Picking up in both intensity and excitement is “pyot,” strong guitar driving the song and complimenting Royle’s vocals. “chma” is vocally led with loud, explosive instrumentation provided primarily by the guitar and drums, a common structure used in Royle’s songs.

Sweat Shop Crop Top proves to be an earnest debut, but lacks some diversity in its sound. Nonetheless, these songs feature quirky lyrical stylings, honest vocals, and fun rock instrumentation, which combine to form pleasing tracks that surely fill out intimate performance spaces.

Sweat Shop Crop Top is available as a name-your-price download via Scott Royle’s Bandcamp page.

Top Tracks: “jazz guys,” “emeline”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)

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