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Sound Advice: Foreverwolf by Careers in Science

New album from local punks is no joke, cover art be damned.

If you were to make up your mind about Foreverwolf—the new release from local punkers Careers in Science—on the basis of its cover alone, you’d probably assume the entire record was a huge joke. No one would blame you. The image is an anthropomorphic man-wolf, complete with a Conan the Barbarian-type body and Revenge of the Nerds-type glasses, riding an actual wolf-wolf. It’s hard to take album seriously after that.

But you remember what your mother told you about books, and judging, and covers. Yes, Careers in Science do have a pretty developed sense of humour—as evidenced by song titles like “Suri Cruise-Missile,” “Konami Code of Conduct,” and “Holy Shit! Giant Spiders!”—but it exists in a framework of hard, fast, tight punk rock that’s vaguely reminiscent of ’80s Southern Californian acts like Ill Repute, RKL, and The Vandals. The ridiculous “Giant Spiders!” has the sort of mid-song breakdown that would make Gorilla Biscuits proud, and frontman Dave Proctor has a clear baritone that lends itself to great, anthemic, singalong punk songs.

All that said, the Science boys have a serious side to them, too. “Konami Code of Conduct” is the first-person tale of a nice, well-meaning nerd who is better with video games than with people, and “Elizabeth Brown” is downright biting. Named for the Beaches woman who opposed a home in her neighbourhood being demolished so a new wheelchair-accessible one could be built for her paralyzed neighbour, the song is the story of a woman, also named Elizabeth Brown, who has her legs taken by the city in a twisted attempt at architectural preservation. (You can listen to “Elizabeth Brown” by clicking on the link above.)

Careers in Science may be a bunch of smartasses, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not also one of the tightest, smartest, most interesting punk acts to come out of the city in years.

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