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By : Gannopy Urena

7 min read

Today Junior takes you on a journey of fun, love and loss, and growing up in their self-titled album. Released on April 20th (nice) this album is perfect for a summer roadtrip playlist. Brothers Harry and Mike O’Toole, alongside bassist Tony Ambrose, have pulled off an excellent rendition of indie sleaze. They fit right in with bands like Dinosaur Jr., Phoenix, and the Strokes. The album has such a sing-a-long quality that I was singing most of the words on my second listen. With the punchy drums, the elaborate guitar riffs, and the sick guitar solos, Today Junior really takes me back to the 2010’s.

The lyrics really stand out to me. A lot of the songs are structured in a “Hot Fuss” by The Killers sort of fashion—repetitive but in a good way. The repetitiveness creates the easy-to-sing-along to quality. My favorite songs are “Sweet Little Nothings,” “Brain Fog,” and “Where Will We Wander.”

In my interpretation, “Sweet Little Nothings” is a song about loving someone so much it kinda ruins your life. You’re thinking about them all the time, tripping over yourself, unable to get anything done. The guitar riffs and drums were a little funkier and edgier in this song than the rest of the album.

I think this line really captures the simultaneous exhaustion, desperation, and craving that comes with having a crush.

“Brain Fog” is a great homage to smoking weed. When you’re exhausted, life keeps beating you down, it's so nice to just not have thoughts for a while.

“would you wanna, stay here or go, out back and smoke some marijuana, we’re wastin’ time, and it feels so fine”

I love the concept of relishing in not doing anything for a while. Any trace of an anti-productivity stance is something I will always support.

The final song of the album, “Where Will We Wander,” is a wistful reflection on aging and change. It feels like a goodbye to young adulthood or a goodbye to your 20s. The bassline really pops out in this track and it compliments the guitar melody quite well.

“different times, come and go, golden days fade away,

we were young, we were young, but we’re older now, time is running out, hard to say we’re leavin’ all the ways we were”

I like the message of being a little reluctant to let go of the past but also looking forward to the future.

The first song of this album is called “In Massachusetts,” and in the last track “Where Will We Wander,” one of the lyrics is, “in your mind we’re still in California.” This line shows that this album tells you a story. You’re going to feel the full range of emotions listening to this album. When I was listening, I could imagine myself on a summer roadtrip, on the beach, in the rain, crying in my room. I will absolutely be dancing to this album for a while. This album better be in your summer playlists.

Oh and catch them at one of the biggest local indie music festivals, Nice, a fest, this July with their new bassist & BCN graphic designer Hannah Blauner!

Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #157 May 2023


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