Disconnector is the fourth studio album by local band Sonic Avenues (comprised of Maxime Desharnais on guitar and vocals, Jamie Desjardins on bass, JC Niquet on drums, and Seb Godin on guitar). With this record, Sonic Avenues succeed in developing a tamer strain of punk-pop, ultimately resulting in a more mature sound than their previous efforts. Unlike its three predecessors, Disconnector’s novelty lies in its ability to fuse modern punk-pop with late ‘70s new wave.
Drawing from the band’s punk roots, hints of the Buzzcocks are interwoven throughout Disconnector’s patchwork. This is most evident in tracks “Future” and “Monotonic” where Desharnais’ voice channels the piercing vocals of both Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley. Moreover, the twangy instrumental in “Dancing in the Sun” emulates the shrill acidity of late ‘60s rock (think The Kinks’ “Till The End Of The Day”). However, it is in tracks “Burn Like Fire,” “Where No One Falls,” and “Defective” where the band plunges into the shimmering pool of ‘70s new wave and reveals the crux of their album’s experimentation. The opening riff in “Burn Like Fire” electrifies the listener with a melody reminiscent of The Strangler’s “No More Heroes.” In “Where No One Falls” the band interlaces its punk-pop style with a trifecta of Devo, Gary Numan, and The Cars. Moreover, Sonic Avenues’ “Defective,” with its in Devo-esque overtones (think “Gut Feeling/(Slap Your Mammy)”), is a fiery concoction of new wave with a tinge of punk that could effortlessly slip into the soundtrack of any given Wes Anderson film.
Owing to Sonic Avenues’ unprecedented decision to incorporate lighter new wave with its usual mix of punk-pop, the band’s fourth studio album lacks their previous angst and unruliness. Nonetheless, if you’re in search for an easy listen with lots of hooks and a dash of new wave nostalgia to complement your sunny Saturday afternoon, then give Disconnector a listen.
– Review by Soraya Mamiche Afara