I'm a child of the 90's, but predictably didn't learn to appreciate its bounty of music until a decade after the fact. In any case, this scribe's angsty teenage years were filled to the brim with, y'know, appropriately angsty music. From Soundgarden, to Mudhoney, to RHCP, to Silver Chair, to Tool, to Our Lady Peace, and far beyond, my formative days were crammed with rockin' riffs and the gritty melancholic tirades of the era. Given a heartfelt love for that grunge-infected generation of rock, I was exceptionally excited by the opportunity to premiere Static, the debut EP from Melbourne's very talented Canyon.
On paper, this power trio plays a blend o' alt metal, stoner rock, and prog. In practice, that description certainly feels accurate, but their tunes are notably imbued with a grungy flair. Or, y'know, the dour equivalent of flair. Back in Oct. of last year, when we reviewed Insane, this EP's lead single, we stated that if felt "caught in the amber of 90's headbang fodder," while simultaneously displaying a high level of maturity. I'm please to report that the entire EP follows suit...but you hardly have to take my word for it. Give Static a listen in full below. We'll catch ye on the other side of the y2k divide.
And there ye have it! While Static presents five tracks that are each undeniably unique in their own right, the EP as a whole carries itself with a tasteful nostalgic swagger. As aforementioned, there's a strong 90's-esque grunge-by-way-of-alternative-metal vibe at play; imagine, if ye please, an alternate universe in which Rubin recruited Chris Cornell for Manmade God rather than Audioslave. If you're a fan of 90's rock in general, I'm quite confident--insistent, even--that there is something here worth sinking your teeth into.
While this dedication to a moment in time is an obvious praiseworthy trait, the greatest strength Canyon display on Static is the ability to write dynamic songs. Intro track "Insane" is fairly straightforward, but whilst sidewinding across a spectrum between aggressive intensity and gentle progressive exploration throughout the remainder, Canyon keep things fresh and emotionally engaging. Take "Gone Before Your Time" as a prime example: this track fulfills the role of delicate ballad for the majority of its breadth, but gradually builds in intensity until an emotive and explosive climax. "Keep Me Waiting"--my favorite track herein, if there's a gun pointed at my head--balances out a 3 Doors Down-esque gritty momentum with a solo in the back half that verges on psyched-out stoner territory. The riff-driven "Minority Outspoken" is a lil' more blistering in its intentionally, well, outspoken delivery, but is immediately balanced out by the title track, which serves as an understated and subtly progressive conclusion to the package.
When it's all over, I'm consistently disappointed that the stellar Static is merely an EP, and if that ain't a good sign, I dunno what is. I greatly anticipate whatever Canyon have planned for the future, but in the meantime, I'll be spinning this EP with a (comfortably) youthful fascination.
Canyon - Static will be released May 21st, 2021.Pre-order it here!
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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