Album Review :
The Canvas Waiting - Chasing Color

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Band: The Canvas Waiting

Title: Chasing Color

Label: N/A

Release Date: Nov. 9, 2010

Review By: Scott L

Tracklisting:

  1. Chasing Color
  2. Ghosts
  3. Darkness Into Day
  4. An Island Now
  5. Streets Of Gold
  6. All The Lines Erased
  7. Barcelona

I was talking to a friend while I was at his house for Thanksgiving about how the sheer number of bands out there is a constant amazement. Bands pop up in rural areas. Urban areas. Big cities. Small towns. You name it, they’re there. Add to that the fact that many of them are actually decent sounding and not just some rehashed wannabe’s that managed to get their hands on a JCPenney guitar and a tape recorder. And for guys like me, who love music, it’s a never-ending journey of discovery. Though I’m compelled to admit that subject of this review isn’t a new band that I’ve recently discovered, in fact this is their third release, I can honestly say that they are talented enough that each new album feels like a new discovery nonetheless.

The Canvas Waiting is a 4-piece indie alt-rock band out of Austin, Texas. In case you haven’t gotten the hint yet, I like these guys. And I won’t hold the fact that they’re from the “second” largest state in the country against them. They have a sound that’s equal parts utilitarian and extravagant. You’d really need to hear it to understand just where I’m coming from on that one. But that’s okay, because it’s my opinion that you should listen to them anyway. Impassioned vocals and jangly guitars accented by deep bass and heavy-on-the-cymbals drumming. This time out they seem to have dropped a bit of the pop in favor for a more post-rock feel. So if you like bands such as The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, Windsor Drive, or In Harbour, then The Canvas Waiting’s 7-song EP “Chasing Color” should be on your Christmas list for sure. Maybe even near the top… just below that new iPhone, but definitely above those fanboy skinny jeans.

Lyrically, The Canvas Waiting isn’t particularly enlightening, but they do come across as incredibly sincere and genuine. The themes in their songs strike at the heart with unerring accuracy. The song “Ghosts” encapsulates this idea of painting real life experience into song when it says, “I seem to be a puzzle piece that fits but blurs the scene / how can you be the antidote but still you make me weak / I fall in love with ghosts / it’s easier than you’d think / wake up it’s 5:15 / put on your clothes / the subway’s waiting / wake up / it was just a dream / another night of wishful thinking / but maybe we can meet in the middle of reality / and where we could be / and if it’s only a little / I’m gonna stretch it thin ‘till it covers me”. What’s nice is when real life drama meets real spirituality, like in the aptly named song “Streets Of Gold”. It’s a song about doing your best in life. No easy answers, but there is encouragement to live for God to the best of your ability even when life seems to be falling apart all around you. It says, “I just do what I’m told / and hope that the words from these pages can save my soul / I just do what I’m told / so I close my eyes and imagine these streets of gold / tell me how you can see / what it is you see / ‘cause maybe then I could believe in the in between / and I’ll spend all of my life / trying to somehow make sense / of a world I could never explain / I don’t try anymore like I did / I’m just doing the best that I can”.

The standout track was a tough call for me. But I guess I’d have to go with “Darkness Into Day”. It just carried a powerful emotional weight and really struck home with me. I always appreciate songs that are not only easily digestible, but also make an impact.

Overall: They say that the third time’s the charm and that definitely holds true with The Canvas Waiting’s third release, “Chasing Color”. Not that their first two albums were bad, because they certainly weren’t, it’s just that this new 7-song EP shines a bit brighter and hits a little harder. So if you’re a casual alt-rock fan you should give The Canvas Waiting a listen. I think you’ll be glad you did.

www.myspace.com/thecanvaswaiting

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