One of the most common phenomena within modern youth culture is the idea that a particular person was born in the wrong generation. Often referred to as an anachronistic set of beliefs or ideals, most bands of the 21st Century have fallen victim to said phenomenon. The most common phrase of these victims would most likely be "I should've been there." Alvvays fits the criteria of this precisely. Following their breakout hit 'Archie, Marry Me' in 2014, the Toronto-based indie-poppers found themselves amongst a gold rush of bands pushing a nostalgia-driven, "beachy" aesthetic. After their college radio smash hit and a proper self-titled debut for Polyvinyl, Alvvays remained pretty quiet, and for a good reason.

If you were to sit down, flip on an Alvvays album, and attempt to digest it in its entirety, you might notice a couple of strange things about the Toronto beach bums. First, the name. Wavves, originally a solo project of California-native Nathan Williams, introduced the world to the "vv" status in early 2008. Not that their music is similar, but that is just the beginning of Alvvays' long, strange trip to where they are today. Secondly, Williams' girlfriend, Bethany Cosentino, better known as the indie-powerhouse fronting Best Coast, released her most ambitious - and remarkable - album, Crazy For You, in 2010. Since then, dozens of bands have gone on to channel those emotive guitars, towering hooks, and overall aesthetic that Cosentino seemed to nail, but no band did this more than Alvvays. Lastly, within the mix of beaches and power-pop between 2008 and 2011, Scottish indie-vets Camera Obscura released one of their most notable works, My Maudlin Career in 2009. Much like Best Coast's Crazy For You, My Maudlin Career was another once-in-a-lifetime record, one that's as wholesome as it is focused, playing on repeat like a perfect circle; raw emotions, gorgeous, layered vocals, and a set idea of what a band wants to do. Blend these three factors together, and the result is a rough draft of Alvvays, a band that's always seemed tormented by their predecessors.

However, these factors were not as apparent on their 2014 self-titled record. Alvvays in itself was a decent record, less focused on the group as a whole and more focused on what they can make an album sound like. It was a minor success, gaining an earnest amount of critical praise and a decent amount of college radio play. But now it's 2017, and Alvvays are finally back with their follow up, Antisocialites. And, honestly, it feels as if front-woman Molly Rankin took a sound transfusion machine, dropped the needle on Crazy For You and My Maudlin Career, added a few layers of synth, and called it an album. The authenticity that we hoped for is somehow even weaker. The songs are bigger, bolder, and produced rather slickly, but that's where the compliments end.

The first singles that appeared months prior to the release of Antisocialites, 'In Undertow' and 'Dreams Tonite' were cunning pop songs, songs that have the capability of becoming the next 'Archie, Marry Me'. At that point in time, Alvvays' fate as a band seemed to be quite positive leading up to the release date of Antisocialites. But as the album drags on, it feels as if the first two singles were a completely separate affair from the new album. Melancholic, washed out sounds are aplenty, and Rankin's vocals soar. However, instead of the warm, shoreline influence, Alvvays focus on ultra-dream-pop, but the end result sounds like a Camera Obscura B-side rather than anything original or authentic.

Antisocialites is Alvvays most regrettable attempt at an album - brash and bold, Alvvays come out of Antisocialites as the ultimate copy-cats, almost going through the motions of what they're good at - or at least what we thought they were good at. With all of that said, however, tracks like 'Hey' show a hint of progression for Alvvays, channeling a punkish sound with twirling blues licks, a strong hook, and and a pocket full of ambition. At its best, Antisocialites is a raw effort from a band who swears they've been around longer than they have, composing a handful of very good songs, with a majority of flukey, bored-out-of-my-fucking-mind songs that seem to drag one after the other. Alvvays' main flaw remains their lack of authenticity, a tragedy for a band with this much potential.