Monday, 23 July 2012

Review: Canterbury - Heavy in the Day

 I can't help but begin to feel less-than-optimistic whenever I approach a band that has been compared strongly to You Me at Six. And I say that as a rare being of someone that really likes You Me at Six and is male at the same time. However, while I can easily get into the strong melodies and occasional melodramatics of YMAS, the fact that that band has grown a reputation of being adored by teenage girls means any band compared to them will have the same effect, only with an increase of melodrama and soppiness. It's with this sad attitude that I enter the world of Heavy in the Day, the second album from Farnham quartet Canterbury and come out feeling half relieved and half disappointed that such a musical atmosphere does exist but only in places.

 But indeed, there's a lot of moments when the soppiness is avoided completely and the strong hooks of Something Better and More Than Know show that they aren't just wanting to be all slow and lovey-dovey. And with these songs revealing an influence from You Me at Six and various other bands they've toured with in the vain of Twin Atlantic, We Are the Ocean and The Automatic, the band show that Canterbury are fully capable of making the sound that has made everyone fall in love with rock music again.

 Of course, there's more on this rock and roll front than fitting in with the vain of these other radio bothering rock bands. The levels of frantic energy and rapid-fire riffage of Saviour and Drive. Ride. Drive. show a much more kinetic side to their music that shows an influence from the best moments of the Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age, proving them to be of a higher quality than being simply labelled as being a band that will just attract pop-loving teen girls could ever be.

 Of course, there are plenty of moments on Heavy in the Day that are simply made to be adored in an overly romantic lovey dovey sense. From the utter drag that opens the album on the title track, we are treated to moments that can only be described as "airy dirges." That or the kind of drenched wet balladry of Gloria and She's a Flame, as well as the stupid dance-pop of Ready Yet? which reaches little impact with any attempts of making hooks.

 So, a typically hit and miss album, Canterbury prove they have the ability to make genuine rock and roll efforts and do it extremely well, but this effort isn't captured across Heavy in the Day. Who knows, maybe my total entrancement by stoner rock, doom metal and black metal has left me feeling little sympathy towards ballads, but the kind of songwriting is so weak, there's no way it can really rustle any interest from me. But as I say, that's just me. I can only imagine those who are into the likes of You Me at Six, We Are the Ocean and various other bands that like to load their hooks with powerful emotion to have a new favourite band on their hands.

Canterbury's Heavy in the Day is out now via Sweet Lime Records. The band will play at Burn Out Festival at The George Inn, Andover on 29th July, Y Not Festival in Matlock on 3rd August, Merthyr Rock Festival on 2nd September, Butserfest 2012 at Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Petersfield on 15th September, Deafbox Festival at Teh intake Club, Mansfield on 16th September, Underground Festival at Gloucester Guildhall on 30th September and will tour the UK in November with Deaf Havana.

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