May 31, 2012

Song Review: Young Guv and the Scuzz's "Heal Over Time"

Out of all six of members of Fucked Up, guitarist Ben Cook might be the one who has his hands tied into the most music-related projects (barring frontman Damian Abraham's hosting duties in Much Music of course.) After dedicating most of his time a banner year in support of David Comes to Life -- the Toronto act's phenomenal punk rock opus and 2011's #1 Best Album here on AwkwardSound -- Cook now has some time to get himself reacquainted with them. He's already wrapped up a few dates opening for Bay area punks Ceremony with his garage rock side-piece Marvelous Darlings, and now he's focusing efforts on his solo outlet Young Guv and the Scuzz (formerly known as Young Governor, now abbreviated and accompanied by a backing band.) Over the course of 11 singles and two EPs, Cook has dabbled in every rock 'n roll direction possible with this venture, but on "Heal Over Time," the first listen from Young Guv's forthcoming 12" A Love Too Strong (due out July 24th on Southpaw Records,) he's nailed down a sweet spot by achieving power pop perfection. A huge benefit to Cook on this go was entering an actual studio to lay down the tracks, resulting here in high-fidelity hooks and a pristine harmonies that sweeten the honey in Young Guv's classic guitar pop nectar. What's most evident here however is that the renaissance punk rocker is a songwriting force to be reckoned with even when removed from the equation of his more well-known musical cohorts. Sure, this song contains hints of those shrouded, gazy guitars listeners have come to identify recent Fucked Up songs with, but when Cook is left to his own devices with an axe in hand, we finally get to see how well he can make that six-string sing when not under the influence of hardcore aggression. As Young Guv and the Scuzz's "Heal Over Time" suggests, dude's power pop brilliance effortlessly bursts at the seams thanks to all those years putting up with a punk front .

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