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Canto

Ha Ha Ha

Review by Gary Hill
Here’s an alternative rock album that covers several types of sound. Most of the disc works pretty well, but there are a couple songs that could have stood to be left off the set. Still, this is entertaining and other than one of the aforementioned numbers, nothing here is so bad it will have you searching for the “skip” button.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Adam & Eve

This powers up with an alternative rock vibe and then turns towards psychedelic space rock. This is an instrumental introduction with a killer retro rock vibe.

Sandpaper

I love the fuzzy bass sound on this. It calls to mind vintage Grand Funk Railroad. There is cool retro garage band vibe. This pounds out and sits somewhere near stoner rock.

Cardigan Sweater

As good as the first two songs were, this one drops straight off a cliff. It’s still got that alternative rock vibe, but the vocals are difficult to take. This has a more stripped down arrangement and the timing shifts feel very awkward. It’s a good thing they didn’t lead off with this because most people wouldn’t make it through the track to hear anything else. This is so bad that it’s hard to believe it’s the same band.

The Pit

Here we get a step back in the right direction. There’s some great stomping fuzz rock and it also features some jangly music. The vocals work a lot better here. A lot of jam band exploration is included here with that hard edged, killer fuzz in place.

The Big House

I dig the start and stop element to the main riff on this tune. There’s less of that garage band sound to this and it has more alternative rock. Still, it’s off-kilter enough to make it feel a bit like some modern progressive rock.

Farewell Well Well

Coming in with a more stripped down arrangement, this is a change. It eventually shifts out to some more retro tinged modern rock. This isn’t stoner rock, but it’s not far removed. The hook is accessible and a lot of this calls to mind the bluesy hard rock so popular in the 1970s.There’s a guitar solo section that’s not that far off from some modern progressive rock. I really like the bass line on this piece a lot. Around the two and a half minute mark it shifts out to a jam that is pretty close to stoner metal, but with a garagey sound it. I can also make out bits of Led Zeppelin on that.

Griseous

In a lot of ways this isn’t all that far removed, but it’s a more melodic tune that’s not that far off from modern prog. There is plenty of psychedelia in this thing.

William Byrd & His Contemporaries

This is another mistake. It’s more of a mellow cut, but still rocks. It’s awkward and the vocals tend to be bit jarring at times. Mind you, it’s much stronger than “Cardigan Sweater,” but the disc would be a lot better without this one and that tune.

Fun in the Sun

The arrangement on this is more tentative and stripped down, but there’s a cool jam later in the track that is fuller in texture. This is not a bad track, but the formula is starting to wear a little thin by this point. There is also a tasty instrumental movement later that has a lot of noisy psychedelia in it.

Desert

While this is not a bad cut, and it represents a bit of a change, feeling mellower and closer to modern progressive rock, it’s also not a standout. It seems sort of like ending the disc on a whimper.

 
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