20 Pound Shovel - Act Your Age (Cover Artwork)

20 Pound Shovel

Act Your Age (2007)


Up until now I can't say I've ever felt a need to visit Manitoba, but that all changed when I listened to a pop-punk band straight out of the prairies. They are 20 Pound Shovel, and if you haven't heard of them here in Ontario yet you will soon. Destined to be the next Alkaline Trio, the threesome comes at you with sexy riffs and eargasmic vocals, proving that Manitoba has a lot more to offer than giant bodies of water.

Their sound can be compared to a poppier Set Your Goals (the latest album Mutiny!, sans the hardcore) or earlier Ten Foot Pole or All Time Low (in a good way!) with the catchy harmonies, toe-tappin' beats and lyrics that tell a story well enough to draw you deep into the heart of the songs. Opener "In Regret" and "Where Is the Love," particularly the verses, are so well-written that you feel every emotion the singer is portraying, from anger to uncertainty to heartache, comparable to the cutting lyrics of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

Every track on this EP could be a single, each one standing out against the next. This is the kind of band you listen to on repeat for hours straight, desperate to get to know the songs well enough to sing along.

Through high-energy songs and ear-pleasing vocals that sound slightly unique to the genre, the boys sidestep the cheesiness that usually clings to a lot of pop-punk bands and straight-up rock the prairies dry. Since 2003 they've already put out one full-length, one EP and shared a stage with the legendary Gob on more than one occasion. Currently in the recording studio laying down more soon-to-be hits, and potentially already done doing so, 20 Pound Shovel is about to be a name known all across Canada, putting the Manitoba music scene back on the map for 2008.