Dave Verellen and Brian Cook, best known for the work with seminal metallic hardcore band Botch, are about to demonstrate the breadth of their musical talent as one half of Roy. Given their illustrious hardcore past and current work with post–punks These Arms Are Snakes, one cannot help but be surprised by the bouncy pop folk of this record. Owing more to Billy Bragg than anything ever released on Hydrahead, listening to Roy is, at first, mildly shocking. Once you get past the drastic sonic departure, prepare to be treated to an incredibly strong selection of hook–filled rock songs, all with a decidedly folk edge to them. Spiritual cousins of the Weakerthans, lead singer Ben Verellen has a knack for creating moving stories out of simple, everyday language. Songs like "Better Head Northâ start off with nothing more than voice and guitar, eventually swelling towards their melancholic climax; "Never Getting Marriedâ offers up the subtle beauty of a stripped–down country ballad, and "Donât Overdub My Heartâ is a slow–rocking, clever reflection on the decline of radio as a meaningful form of media. After three EPs on Initial Records, this, Royâs debut full–length, is sure to fascinate those familiar with their past work, and likely win over those with no knowledge of their mighty history.