Artist: Canterbury Effect
Album: We Are All Dogs
Label: Crossroads of America Records
Release Date: September 25, 2007
Review by: Eric Pettersson
1. Sasquatch Wristwatch
2. The Water’s Warm and It’s Getting Warmer
3. Everybody Says They’re a Little Bit Irish
4. They Don’t Run These Things on Hopes and Dreams
5. They’re My Friends and I Like Them
6. Gin Breath
7. Little Brown Bottles
8. Best Man
9. Crown Vic
10. Oh My God, I Totally Hate This Place
11. Southern Indiana Yacht Club
12. Not the Business End of the Bull
13. Jackhawk 9000
Remember the days when indie rock grew out of grunge and was almost identical to art-punk? Canterbury Effect certain do. Having been around since 1999, this band’s seen the scene change more than most. With that experience comes a refinement of ability and a confidence to do what you want. With such old-school influences and a lack of the current desire to be emo-pop-singing rock stars that care more about glamour than they do writing a good rock song, Canterbury Effect’s latest release, We Are All Dogs, may seem a little out of place in today’s music. This is the type of thing we were influenced by five or ten years ago, right?
But that’s not to say it isn’t good. Oh no, far from it. Neither is it to say that Canterbury Effect are stuck in the past without any hint of musical progression. This is the delicate balance of being modern while appreciating the past, being “in” enough to run with the best of them while being “out” enough to not take themselves too seriously. They take their music seriously, for sure, but that seems to be about it. The vocals aren’t pretty, but they are urgent and sincere. Acoustic guitars abound in the background, along with the occasional tambourine, but the overall feel of the record is very much edgy post-punk, post-indie, post-hardcore, post-rock whatever. Gang vocals and catchy sing-a-longs mixed with head-bobbing breakdowns and an overall attitude that is very genuinely punk rock and very genuinely over the scene. “Gin Breath” is melodic and mellow for the first half of the song in that rough-around-the-edges way. On one side, this is for fans of Fugazi and Blenderhead, but on the other it’s also for fans of mewithoutYou and Brand New. The majority of the fans will probably be from that first set, but those of you from the second can definitely appreciate what Canterbury Effect are doing.
It’s hard to know what to do with a band that keeps an old-school sound alive. Usually they get swept under the carpet because most people just don’t want new music that sounds like this, but lately bands like The Showdown and Jonezetta have each in their respective ways brought the sounds of the 1980s to us in a modern way and done so successful. So the only question remaining for Canterbury Effect is whether or not music fans are ready for a modern interpretation of the sounds of the late 1990s and early 2000s.