Aversions by @spaceguppee
Aversions by @spaceguppee
New Music

Dissecting the contradictions: a deep dive into AVERSIONS’ vintage post-punk

4 mins read

Released on April 28, 2023, “You Wanted the Bike” is the Vancouver post-punk band’s third release and follows up on their 2022 EP, “Sharp Left Turns”. Building on the EP’s foundation, “You Wanted the Bike” showcases the band’s ability to contrast jagged post-punk guitar lines with hard-hitting post-hardcore passages.

Aversions has a sound that mixes American post-punk and ’80s post-hardcore. Comprised of modest East Vancouver work-a-days, the band strives to live the adage of art interlacing with life. Their music features muscular riffage, left-turn basslines, and sledgehammer drumming, while lead vocalist Sam Coll offers acidic takes on various topics, both big and small. The band’s lyrics alternate between exalting and disparaging the many contradictions of their beleaguered hometown of Vancouver.

All songs on “You Wanted the Bike” were written by Aversions, with lyrics penned by Sammy C. Rory Munro also contributed to the songwriting on several tracks and added additional guitar on all songs. The album was recorded and mixed at The Noise Floor in Gabriola, BC by Jordan Koop and mastered at Grey Market Mastering in Montreal, QC by Harris Newman.

Join us as we explore each track with the band’s special first-hand rundown below.


“You Wanted the Bike” by AVERSIONS touches on various themes, including politics, social issues, and personal reflections.

The opening track, “Mirror Game,” sets the tone with its focus on the idea of a disposable generation. “Undecider” offers a Strummer-esque political commentary, while “An Optimist’s Dilemma” explores the internal conflicts of someone who thinks they’re “hot shit.” “Hostile Architecture” highlights the complex issues of the DTES in Vancouver, while “New Whip” focuses on the Charlottesville car attack and the need to raise men properly. “Lightweight” offers personal reflections on the pandemic, and “Sunset Breakout” is an expression of love for the people in the DTES and the hope for better things to come.

Check out the detailed commentary below/

Mirror Game

It’s funny that this is the album opener, cause we wrote this song pretty quickly about a week before we recorded it. I guess that’s not an uncommon story. Rory, our former guitarist, came up with the main guitar part and we wrote around that.

Lyrically it’s more about a vibe than anything specific. I had just read Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro and I was thinking a lot about the idea of a disposable generation. In the book that’s taken pretty literally, whereas I think for Millennials and younger, it’s more our circumstance, how we feed into these systems that have now been perfectly calibrated to use us as fuel without giving much back.


This is as close as we get to a Strummer-esque political jam, but as usual in my unfocused way I’m writing about three things at once. Another song that came together pretty quickly. When I was writing the lyrics, it was Election Night 2020 (yeah, this song’s been around a while). I stumbled across this website that documented the living conditions of white nationalist terrorists, how they live as a window into why they do harm etc. The whole middle 8 is lifted pretty much straight from those real-life images, except for the bit about pamphlets disparaging immigration: we saw those at home in Canada on our way back from tour one time, stopping in a Tim Horton’s outside Kamloops. There was one on every chair. The candidate wore a big ten-gallon hat in the picture. I dunno if he got elected.

An Optimist’s Dilemma

This song is another pretty old one, I think we started messing with it right after we finished our first EP, fall of 2019. We’ve played it a lot live over the years. Structurally it hasn’t changed much but I think the way we play it has, some of the emotional beats. Lyrically I think it’s a character sketch although more of a type of person than anyone specifically: this guy thinks he’s hot shit, he knows how to pull the levers to get what he wants, and he’s internalized this idea of the power of positive thinking to justify all the advantages he’s either earned or been afforded. He doesn’t always sleep so well, though; not from guilt, but from some deeper fear that he’ll still never get what he really wants.

Hostile Architecture

Another song that came together from a few ideas pretty quickly. I’ve wanted to have a piano-based song for a while because I really like using it not just as a writing tool, but as a featured instrument. Writing on the keyboard just puts you in a different place and opens up different ideas. I wrote the vocal part very quickly, just kind of riffing on a character and a concept and letting the words jumble together into a narrative. I think the view of the issues of the DTES in Vancouver is pretty reductionist, people are either painted as being on one side or the other, but there are a lot of people in the middle who get really frustrated while also not wanting to do harm. The narrator is obviously being led down a dark path, a callous path, but he’s also being driven to it in some way.

New Whip

This song was influenced by a visual essay by Nate Powell called About Face. I came to it late, but I really liked it, I thought he did an amazing job of (literally) illustrating a relatively complex topic in a crystal-clear way. I updated it a bit to relate to the Charlottesville car attack, which has never really left me as this flashpoint related to a lot of things that we write music about. End of the day, I think a lot of harm in the world could be ameliorated if we could figure out how to raise men properly.


I like how this song is pretty off-the-cuff where a lot of other songs on the album are pretty intricately recorded/produced (for us, anyway). If it’s about anything, it’s just sort of about having all this time to think during the pandemic, and not really coming to any profound conclusions: discovering that the person on the other side is much the same person who went in, when all along we were told that wouldn’t be the case.

Sunset Breakout

Kind of embarrassing to admit but I’ll openly admit that this song is more or less about hoping that there are better things to come in terms of our music careers and our lives in general. I think if any of us were killing it in any real way we probably wouldn’t be starting a band in our mid 30s. This band is a release valve for frustrations. And I relate that back again to where I live, the DTES in Vancouver. Everyone around me feels the same in one way or another. We have drastically different circumstances, but we’re all acting out our frustrations with choices we made. This song is an expression of love for the people I share space with everyday.

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