Junior Boys - Big Black CoatAfter parting ways for five years in order to focus on solo projects, Junior Boys comprised of Hamilton natives, Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus, are back together again to bring us nostalgic 80’s style dream-pop with their fifth studio album. Big Black Coat, is a dreamy love letter to the sounds of 80’s action movie montages, dance clubs and penny arcades.  The focus of this album’s track-list falls upon paring rhythmic drum machines and sci-fi-like modular synthesizer, creating a fantastic backing for Greenspan’s timid vocals.

Dynamic style and tempo changes are found throughout the 11-song album and shows up early in opener “You Say That.” There is a slight blip at the end of the chorus that builds into an aggressive synthesizer post chorus that instantly reminded me of soundtracks from the old gaming cabinets I used to pump quarters into. The blip happens when the quarter drops into the slot and it is all business from there.

“Over It” serves as the lead single of the album and is its most significant. Greenspan’s vocals are deep, but still have more than enough float to them, while the aggressive drum machine and brooding synthesizer keep the song set for the dance floor… or an 80’s movie acid trip montage.

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“Baby Don’t Hurt Me” deserves mention as a runner up not only because of its amazing title, but in relation to the other tracks on this album, it feels slow in tempo with a timbre that is clear as glass.  This song presents a welcome shift in pace late into the album.

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To say that Big Black Coat was worth the wait would be completely understating the album. It seems that Junior Boys have not lost their touch during the downtime giving us long time fans exactly what we we’d hoped for upon their return. Greenspan’s vocals still have that fantastic contrast of being heavy yet light, the drum machine and synthesizer are doing exactly what they should be take you back to an era that we had music all but figured out.

Luke Williams grew up a fan of punk and pop punk in a field of cows just outside of Barrie, Ontario. You can follow him on Twitter @musicwithluke