Ever wonder what Fucked Up might sound like if they ditched frontman Damian Abraham and stopped making punk rock-opera concept album opuses? Nah, me neither. On the plus side, it ain’t too bad, judging by this extracurricular leg-stretch from Jade Hairpins, the moonlighting duo of drummer Jonah Falco and guitarist Mike Maliechuk. Originally envisioned as a companion album to their sprawling and stylistically diverse 2018 epic Dose Your Dreams, the comparatively lighthearted and streamlined Harmony Avenue is a playfully eccentric confection of quirky pop, glam, techno and new wave — along with any and every other creative inspiration that popped into their noggins, it seems. Naturally, such a freewheeling and funloving entity couldn’t hope to deliver the same levels of visceral punch, cyclonic intensity, narrative detail and musical continuity that have long been associated with the pair’s main musical gig. Of course, this doesn’t make you watch a fat, sweaty bald guy tear around in his gonch wrestling people either. So there’s that.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Originally conceived as an addendum to Dose Your Dreams, Fucked Up drummer Jonah Falco and songwriter Mike Haliechuk’s debut album as Jade Hairpins, Harmony Avenue, is a collection of foraged pop songs with electronic landscaping about human behaviour. With Falco stepping up as frontman and main lyricist for the first time, Hairpins are here to challenge, confound, and sparkle their way into listeners’ hearts with a sound he describes as “straddling the post-post-punk of New Order, Scritti Politti, and Orange Juice, with the primordial sense of humour and absurdity of Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Television Personalities, or The Monks.” Each song on Harmony Avenue was conceived real-time in studio, then edited and crafted together to become the rousing and infectious journey that it is. The London and Toronto based band focused on creating stories for character-based writing not unlike those explored to epic proportions on Fucked Up records, only to reveal an emotional, thoughtful, and ultimately ebullient sonic universe entirely its own.”