. issue VI : i .

by barathron

. artist : canary oh canary .
. album : sleep .
. year : 2013 .
. label : self-released .
. grade : a .


I wish Strange Matter would turn off the audio tracks on all of their arcade games. I’ve no claims to mame fame, and I certainly cannot create a cabinet of pine or knotted otherwise, no I couldn’t even trivial answer questions as where needsalittlexmasnow could possibly come from aside a WeeSing cassette. Screen overkill serves well for me, so the mixing of media has become a pastime of great ritual for my life. Bret Easton Ellis may have done as much for the phenomena of the lit screen without audio as Salinger did for chain smoking, repetition makes way for dissection.

Anyone playing the Neo-Geo during a performance on Grace Street’s muraled monument is making a consciousness choice: one blaring track will beat the eardrum squirrely. Metal Slug X might as well have been a battle of the bands on an intrapersonal claymation PeeWee’s Playhouse segment {[32-channel PCM wavetable audio, with maximum sampling frequency of 44.1 kHz (CD-quality) and 32 MB of wavetable RAM; and I am sorry, as much as I have looked into the kinds of speakers needed, I am trapped in vocabulary approximating JAMMA cabinet IDs (that was a Pearl Jam single from Merkinball for those who know)]}, and I haven’t thought about Aero Fighters, Bust-a-Move, etc. but still, gathered artillery recreation do not mix well with any band’s setlist. All apologies to Everyone Dies In The End for that Mood Rings show: I killed my character off as soon as I realized what was happening.

Lucky and pogo sticking it to another day, the first time I ever saw Canary Oh Canary in that hallowed hallway of transport, that graced slick street, the sound on Mortal Kombat 3 was hella broken face, and the relatively undamaged right handed joystick let me wash into two whole songs before I even knew what was happening. I was falling for atmospheric foot taps and getting bubbly before my swayed serenade, that spent spring situation.

I asked everyone who the band was I had seen the night before, and by that I mean there were four people who told me to go on the internet, already, and stop being a drain on society. I actively figured out the internet was hosting music for free for many bands that did not use myspace, which is the accurate reference, the actual comedic reference for social media punchlines perfectly with linkedin and followed by the retronostalgiascure friendster and club penguin for the parents.

Yet, none of the bands sounded like what I had heard the night before; not until I heard Canary Oh Canary (Josie Davis, bass; Mark Hutcherson, drums; Michael Harl, guitar/vocals) did I epiphany as hard as Little Pete had seen Polaris again; they was around, they was around. (HARD DAY’s PETE: season one of the AOPP). And while the story seems easy enough, one has no idea the times I waited while this sound deteriorated in my brain, until I could cheek garage glass and synapse reconnoiter.

Sleep produces like a cartoon pillow factory in that I cannot see the massive amount of ammunition that is getting blasted around in the air being contained, but much like any duckbergian missile, the magic is in the making a few feathers flop and giving the silver bulb no shatter shrapnel shill. There isn’t anything to sell you outside of seeping into the sound; there really isn’t an exit anyway, though there may be enough room between those traffic cones, and you’d better hope they aren’t sandbagged.

Last Night in Sunway Knolls carries this quality as well, and the trio again has this deceptive trance of biosphere where under your dome the multiples echo. The U2 in “Embrace” always gives me the chills, the bright chordings that just miss that little empty bottle falling sound from “I Will Follow,” and these gorgeous tones that evoke the video giant weekend at Bernie’s Beach House acoustics, Baltimore’s Poe. “Face in a Magazine” carries the energy and rhythmic snap of Frank Black at his Palin, (BBC Mikey not midwestern northarcticwestern). With Canary Oh Canary, there is always, though, this sense of space and strong presence. You never quite believe it is ‘just a trio’ — they animate a soundscape fully, and realized tonal shift and a proper pleasurable pursuit for the listener. Dissonance is resolved, key change finds orbit; there is always a stasis and steady lifeblood pulse.

Sledding “Valley of Secrets” is lush dreamscapes carved out of rock, the porous material brightly shining sound close to the ear, a bassinet of bouncing bit, bringing to mind Savages’ “She Will.” Want to race the streetlights faster and faster through the shadows of the fat foliage full on interstate 95 and lose myself down, not stopping until I must, until there is no other choice. “Integrity Among Men” is that, too, this great wave of sound and emotion, beating off count after count, earning titles above and beyond. The fiefdom extends into this space, you get a sense of all four walls because of the channeled work. I love the final product with this album because of all of the littles; the dinging here in “Integrity” adds a good twenty-eight feet to the ceiling in there — you could double up and use it for a loft space.

“Gypsy Hermosa” takes me right back to the Pixies references; while “Needle’s Shadow” and “Lions” could Jesus my Mary Chain, or Medicine my Machines of Loving Grace. I cannot help but LOVE this, and so my entire perception seems warp-toured and set into my own timeline of birth. I mean, it was clichéd at first sight and took me back to walking in the woods with my Discman and listening to the Atlantic records release of Brandon Lee’s Heath Ledger’d soundtrack. Not that I’m asking for some young star to have a particularly violent and more heroic death than the death of the sleeping snuff chemical cocktails, but that bullet is the last transport I remember to murder aside from say the segues’ plateau plunge. I am, though, trapped in a world of growing up 90’s [to quote Nathan Sellers; check out his novel of the same name] and to an extent have been stamped and hardened in the wax of my own creation.

Kid’s Jeopardy has this cute way of stumping adults with the generational gap-toothed grin in this manner. Question on One Direction’s given names, or obscure lyrics and tones that seem commonplace playground knowledge / Products of and limited to personal experiences; will the mind close without real progression as entropy eats away?

Or, am I missing the metals work that exist still? The swell of the musical scene? “Dreamshark” and “Sleep” make me feel like that kid watching a network station show music videos on New Year’s of 1988. The pixelation of Paul Simon, Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita,” Whitney Houston wanting to “Dance With Somebody” and George Michael wanting sex. Of course I am missing out on everything to an extent; I haven’t done any DMT in my entire life and I have to wake up early most weekends.

“Catholic” is what should be playing in the bar scene in the first Crow movie when “Big Empty” is playing on that jukebox. Detroit is so close to “Devil’s Night,” the foreclosure signs are rippling in musculature tremors. You can imagine this band living in East Saint Louis and ripping off Chevy Chase and Anthony Michael Hall in one fell swoop.

Canary Oh Canary bring to mind the energy and effects of the best in post-punk and classical music chamber orchestra. Davis and Hutcherson keep tight and ground Harl’s soaring effects-laden presentation, the ballast providing sufficient anchor to stay within the swells and tidal shifts of emotion and space. This velvet, enjoy it, deep color and smooth to the touch. Sink in and let Sleep take ahold of you.

by Perkus Tooth