The debut full-length album from Liverpool outfit Circa Waves, 2015's Young Chasers, is a gleefully frenetic, youthfully exuberant collection of catchy, guitar-based indie rock. Centered on lead singer/songwriter Kieran Shudall, the group also showcases the talents of guitarist Joe Falconer, bassist Sam Rourke, and drummer Colin Jones. Together, they make an urgent, angular style of stripped-down pop that touches upon '80s dance-punk and '90s slacker rock without ever giving in too much to either. With their literate, punk-infused energy, they will certainly draw well-earned comparisons to the early work of Sheffield's Arctic Monkeys. It's a fitting parallel given the presence of veteran producer Jim Abbiss, who worked on Young Chasers and previously helmed albums from the Arctic Monkeys as well as works by similarly inclined acts like the Editors and the Rakes. Admittedly, with Shudall's yearning, resonant croon and Circa Waves' penchant for edgy, driving melodicism, Young Chasers does sound like the work of a band whose members spent a lot of time listening to the Strokes' Is This It. The production sound is also very Strokes-esque, with Shudall's vocals often layered with a delicate haze of fuzzy EFX à la Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas. That said, the comparison might be a bit more of a critique were it not for the sheer high quality and infectious nature of Circa Waves' songs. Cuts like the bubbly "Fossils" and the sparkling "My Love" are romantic yet still hard-driving anthems that hit your bloodstream with the urgency of one's first kiss. Similarly, the jittery "Stuck in My Teeth" and the epic "So Long," with its rising intro and extended ending, are utterly cinematic songs that, as with nearly all of Young Chasers, contain the drama of a film within their tight pop structures.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar