In a single eruption of bouncy beats and glowing guitar grooves, The Inoculated Canaries’ “Sneakers” fills the air with its grand melodies and infectious swing. The guitars are sizzling, harmonizing with a whimsical horn section and an adjacent bassline that is intent on showcasing its potent depth in the song’s intro. Michael Rubin’s fretwork is impeccable in this single, and while he commands a lot of attention here, his contribution to the track doesn’t go without an essential helping hand from his bandmates. He’s looking back at the past in “Sneakers,” lamenting a former flame, and offering up the most evocative lyrics of any he’s ever put into a song. This is The Inoculated Canaries at their finest, and you don’t need to be familiar with their work to appreciate the rebellious rhythm they throw down here.
“Sneakers” doesn’t utilize the enigmatic poeticism that a lot of alternative rock artists lean on when opening up about painful subject matter, and though the music video for the single is a mashup of eclectic shots, it plays out like a provocative piece of cinema. The substance of the lyrics is transformed into a theatrical story here, and while the characters in the video have no spoken lines, their actions in the various scenes are perfectly synchronized with the verses in the song, leaving no room for misinterpretation among the audience. It’s not a complex work of art, but it’s a really moving visual experience that made me love this track even more than I already did.
By itself, “Sneakers” has a lot of crossover appeal to fans of indie rock, garage punk and alternative pop, and I think that the primary reason for this is rooted in the band’s demeanor in the song. They sound totally relaxed, focused and in their element, with no one particular instrument standing out as the centerpiece. Collectively, they’ve honed their skills and learned to define their music with solid hooks and surreal basslines, which is something that I can’t say for the majority of their closest rivals in the American alternative underground at the moment. Their sound is really unique, and despite the growing popularity of the minimalism movement within rock, this is one band that isn’t backing down from the larger than life style that made this genre awesome in the first place.
With sonic fireworks that are on par with the most exciting of Independence Day celebrations, The Inoculated Canaries’ new single comes to a conclusion, leaving behind only the memory of its bruising beats and scathing lyrical lashings. This hasn’t been a landmark year for rock n’ roll music, but in “Sneakers,” fans can expect to be gifted an emotionally-charged slab of aggressive alt-rock rhythm that is guaranteed to keep your stereo shaking all through the summer. If you weren’t sold on this band before now, I encourage you to give this track a close examination – honestly, I think that this is some of their most erudite material to see widespread release since they first came together as a group.
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