Someone needs to tell Toronto four-piece Slave to the Squarewave that Ronald Reagan is dead, today’s Ninja Turtles are a CGI cartoon and the 1980s have been gone for 20 years now. At times, Big Change is an album that sounds one keytar away from being a Duran Duran reunion. At others, the album seems reminiscent of preening disco stars under the mirrored ball. Ultimately, the album aims for one thing: to get booties shaking, and to make people to be enthralled to Slave to the Squarewave’s dancehall rhythms.
Immediately, the airy fluorescent-tinged synth-pop of “Sinners of Saint Avenue shows the band isn’t afraid to wear the influences on their sleeve. The band, at times, sounds like Devo with a edgier sound—and lacking any of the irony. Name-dropping “heavy disco tunes” in the song “Thank You Very Much,” the band reveal their sinister mission to make kids dance under the disco ball. Stand-out track “Gorilla Swingin’ Discotheque” is an insane, over-the-top disco hit that samples gorilla grunts references Tarzan and makes all but the most jaded scenester wanting to dance the Monkey.
Big Change is an album that was never designed to appeal to the hipsters. Something so unabashedly willing to be an entire album fit for the discotheque—and unironically so—will not appeal to everyone. Thankfully, Slave to the Squarewave should not worry about finding an audience. Anyone who enjoys dancing the night away will find an exciting album that makes the booty shake all on its own.