CANTERBURY – Dark Days

canterbury(Out Now on Hassle)
SURREY FOUR-PIECE CANTERBURY are so ‘in the now’ it’s frightening.  The right haircuts.  The right attitude.  The right mix of granite guitar and flavoursome pop-Rock top layer, they’ve never relied on surprise packages dropped on an unsuspecting public.  Their third LP owes more to modern day “Rock” bands like Biffy Clyro and Young Guns than their linear heritage might intimate.  Scratch deeper and you’ll hear harmonies and an urgent delivery that suggests they’ve done their homework well enough to be considered serious contenders.  The people in the know are predicting big things and if that’s the case, the album title misleads.  But like the burgeoning swell of peers, Canterbury play emotionally charged blasts of needlepoint power-Pop Rock punctuated with hollow lyrics and the occassional ‘Wooah-oh’.

Opener ‘Expensive Imitation’ with all it’s punch and early bombast is supreme irony, while ‘All My Life’ and ‘Satellite’ flatter to deceive.  The grouping of ‘Hold Your Own’ and ‘Think It Over’ is a creative peak, the latter being the album highlight yielding the sort of hook that’ll bury itself deep for weeks.  The albums mid section exposes a flourishing maturity, ‘By The Trail’ slowing the pace with admirable grace before the ponderous ‘Elephant’ stomps all over their game plan without subtelty; the refrain “you’ve got the heart of an elephant and the head of a whale” immediately condensing kudos.  Thankfully ‘Run From A Gun’ has good time vibes pouring out of every groove and moves ably into the darker intensity of ‘Out From The Cold’.

Low on complexity, high on commercial appeal, originality may be taking a back seat here but the passion and guts which stream out of the choice cuts are for real.  They may just be hoping for a mite too much, from way too little. (6)
STEVE FLETCHER

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