New York City rock quartet The Inoculated Canaries’ new single “Sneakers” implores you to like them. The band consists of frontman and guitarist Michael Rubin, drummer James Terranova, bassist Dylan Gross, and keyboardist Brian Sweeney; on this track, Terranova and Sweeney play some delightful horns. They grew up on the greats – Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Thin Lizzy. Rubin says, “Greatness is sometimes having to stick up your middle finger to authority, convention and even the person in the mirror… Side-Effects may include crying, laughing, a sudden sense of existential dread, and/or hearing loss.”
There’s the straight-up rock technicality of the Foo Fighters in “Sneakers”, as well as the kind of attention paid to every frenzied note that you’ll find on more raucous Beatles tunes. A track this front-to-back frenetic requires the right hand to wrangle its power in the studio. The song was produced by Matt Squire. Even if you don’t know who he is, you know who he’s worked with: Panic! at the Disco, Ariana Grande, The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Demi Lovato, and too many more.
Directed by none other than the Inoculated Canaries themselves, the video follows the rise and fall of a chance romance, a narrative familiar to all. We’re a fly on the wall for a brief but intense dalliance that begins down in the trains and eventually goes up in flames. Boy meets girl on the platform, and a sweet vignette of the gift of new kicks slowly gives way to scenes of young love inevitably growing old for one of them.
Rubin sings that the kicks still feel new, but that’s wishful thinking – minor spats and inattentiveness herald the autumn of this doomed romance. Boy gets caught on a coffee date; girl destroys all reminders of their shared past. You’ll find it far too easy to rock out to this one, but way too hard to forgive them for torching a perfectly worn-in pair of kicks for the video.