Let Them Have Their Fun is an unexpected rejuvenation of Alert The Medic’s sound that no one saw coming. The first climb of the opening track ‘What Are The Odds’ propels the band to the top of a mountain, of which they refuse to come down from for an elating 42 minutes. The band has an extra jump in their step that will suck you into following their rhythm, with vocalist Ryan MacDonald’s infectious voice making it mandatory to sing along from the first chorus onward.
A staple in east coast music, it is very unlikely that any half-dedicated fans of the area’s music scene have not seen the home-grown quartet at least once in their lifetime of show-going. However, popularity can fade quickly if the music doesn’t stay current. The risk of becoming a commodity is the greatest fear of most musicians, but that is a fear that this band can put to rest.
The band has successfully freed their spirit and themselves. Their self-released record embodies that with its brightly coloured, do-it-yourself, Jackson Pollock artwork. There is a wholesome tone throughout its contents, lead by the album’s crown jewel ‘Corporate Kid:’ a track with enough angst to embody a high school in the nineties. It delivers the rebellious memo of not selling out with a suave demeanour that gives goosebumps to the upper 1%. Their sincerity paid off in dividends with the track reaching number 17 on the Canadian rock charts, the highest ranked in the band’s history.
The album is surprisingly aggressive at times, with emphatic riffs that hit harder than the bands usual melancholic material. The guitars of MacDonald and lead Troy Arsenault seize their moment in the intros and choruses, flying high in the arrangement with the background noise of distorted layering, powerful harmonies and the additional instrumentation of tambourines and horns. This created space for drummer Dale Wilson and bassist Matt Campbell to explore their intricacies in the verses, playing off their chemistry and flaunting their chops. The music translates well to a live setting with its bouncy tempo and open-ended patterns, allowing for plenty of opportunity for extended jams and alternative renditions on stage.
Closing the album is the powerful, alternative ballad ‘Norcal’, leading with intense ambiance and crisp vocals that are gradually flooded with huge drum fills and echoing solos. It diminishes into a pitch-perfect outro from MacDonald and company, which fades into silence, only to have part two of the finale resurrect in the form of a classic goodbye, courtesy of MacDonald and his piano.