Review- “Rookie” – Aukland

reviewed by Lisa WiklundScreen Shot 2015-07-09 at 12.55.15 PM

To most, the word “rookie” is synonymous with amateur or beginner, however for one Mississauga band, the word represents a lifetime of hard work and dedication.

Rookie, Aukland’s first full-length album, is an anthem for all twentysomethings. It perfectly captures what life is like for people caught between life’s serious responsibilities and the carefree times we all still crave. From boisterous to soulful, the tracks cover a range of emotions, proof of the band’s diverse talent.

“Talk,” the album’s opening track, will find listeners singing along to the chorus after their first listen. The simple lyrics coupled with a complex and layered backdrop of bass, drums and guitar make for a track that ultimately will give listeners “something to talk about.”

By far one of the album’s catchiest tracks, “Liver & Lungs,” is sure to get feet tapping and heads bopping. The stellar bass line throughout the track is impossible not to dance to, discrediting the common belief that you can’t dance to rock music. “Liver & Lungs” is everyone’s teenage years boiled down to three minutes, and whether that be yesterday or years ago; it leaves listeners wanting to do it all over again. Much in the same vein is “Stupid Fun,” a track that similarly explores what it means to be young and free of adult obligations. Both tracks remind listeners that at whatever age, it is important to let loose and enjoy life.

Having been featured on Hockey Night in Canada as well as Toronto’s radio station 102.1 The Edge, “Doing It Right” is a track not to be missed. Rhythmic enough to attract yet compelling enough to captivate, listeners will find themselves humming the chorus long after the song has ended.

“Open Fire” is the album’s best example of Aukland’s growth since their EP The Orange Above. Besides its departure from the lighthearted spirit of the majority of Rookie, it also demonstrates the skill of all members through its use of complex and fast paced riffs. By adding a reflective vibe to the album, “Open Fire” contributes to Rookie’s overall balance. Be sure to check out the recently released video for the track—an artistic and powerful representation of the raw emotion “Open Fire” demands of its listeners.

Rookie draws on Foals’ ability to produce danceable rock, Kings of Leon’s combination of enthusiasm and thoughtfulness, and Arkells’ masterful use of a booming chorus. However regardless of its influences, the album is distinctly Aukland.

What’s in store next for Aukland remains to be seen, yet listeners can be sure Rookie will leave them hungry for more.

Top Tracks: “Liver & Lungs”; “Doing It Right”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) + *swoop*

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