Music Review—At the Mall

Canadian post-punk trio, Absolute Losers, will be releasing their debut album At The Mall on August 4th 2023.  The album will be available for streaming anywhere you get your music.

Absolute Losers was formed in 2019 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.  The band consists of Daniel Hartinger on drums, Josh Langille on guitar, and Sam Langille on bass and lead vocals.  The alwbum comes on the heels of their previous singles, “Ashtray” and “Coexist”.

The band describes their music as “pop songs hidden beneath wiry guitar work, intertwining bass and drum parts, and nonchalant vocals.  Rather than overcompensating, the band leans into the thinness of a trio with active interplay between instruments making each instrumental part count.”

At The Mall consists of twelve tracks: Bender; By Design; By Fright; Instrumental; Sky So Violent; Speeding; At The Mall; Fine Line; Mirror; Sketch; Yes Truly; and Chuck.  The songs “By Fright”, “Yes Truly”, and “Sketch” have already been released as singles.  “Yes Truly” also has a music video available on YouTube.

According to MasterClass “Post-punk music is an offshoot of punk rock that embraces greater ambition in terms of harmony, melody, rhythm, and lyrical content while retaining punk energy and urgency.  Prominent post-punk bands such as Gang of Four, Wire, Joy Division, The Smiths, Echo & the Bunnymen, Sonic Youth, and Fugazi helped set the stage for the alternative rock explosion of the 1990s.” On that note, Absolute Losers remind me of other bands that could be categorized under the post-punk label, such as Talking Heads and The Cure.

Two of the songs, “Bender” and “Instrumental” are instrumental tracks without any lyrics—letting the music speak for itself.  What I thought was particularly interesting is that many of the tracks, such as “Mirror” and “Yes Truly” have very few lyrics at all, even though they’re not completely instrumental.  Other songs, like “Sketch” have vocals that seem to be more spoken than sung.  My favourite song on the album is probably “Sky So Violent”, with lyrics like, “this time/ I see/ something that’s outside of me/ slumber/ in paradise/ wake and watch it fall before my eyes.”

The music video for “Yes Truly” is quirky, funny, and fits the band’s vibe perfectly.  It looks like it was filmed on an old camcorder from the 90’s, and showcases the band performing against a white backdrop, playing pool at a bar, and hanging out in someone’s basement.  The band is also dressed in full 90’s attire, which just adds to the nostalgia-feel of the video.  Absolute Losers obviously doesn’t take themselves too seriously, which I love!

Overall, I enjoyed At The Mall, and you can check out Absolute Losers on Instagram and Facebook.