Friday, January 2, 2015

AP Review: "No Man Is An Island" by Canyons - A Moody Monster

Canyon's current 5 track album "No Man Is An Island" is a moody monster. Apart from Cotillion that has smiles in it's modified indie meets Soca rhythms, sonically the album feel tumultuous and introspective. You cannot listen to the alternative post rock of Lapse without wondering what the back story is. With the cadence of a beaten man walking back into the fight the song builds on top of itself in a whirling fury of keys, guitars, forlorn vocals and frenetic drums.

On Double Exposure vocals are shared by keyboardist Maegen Chaplin and frontman guitarist / vocalist Jeremy Leasure. Heavy bass lines and in your face harmonics punctuate a free form sound full of dramatic downbeats. The fury here is more subdued but it is still there wrapped in some rather pretty vocal melodies. The ending musical passage feels alive and spirited like lovers running away together. The tonal shift works beautifully.

The biggest surprise on the album is Do As You'd Be Done By. As it starts with an almost Thom Yorkish keyboard tone, it give way to a lush sweeping feel that possesses the operatic (glam tinged) dream theater of Queens of the Stone Age (or Muse even) all the while feeling like Canyons. I love the emotional edge brought out by the music and Jeremy's vocal wails that feel like the torn broken emotional stuff that life is made of. Interestingly the last track, Human Pyramid, feels completely at home after Do As You'd Be Done By. It feels like the opera's final climax. Served well with Maegen and Jeremy sharing vocals again, it is big, emotionally wrought and spent. These last two songs as a single pairing together is sonic heaven.

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Robb Donker

For a limited time "No Man Is An Island" can be downloaded for free


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