Canyons Of Static- Farewell Shadows (2012)

Posted: February 9, 2012 by Is This Revolutionary? in Album, Reviews
Tags: , , ,

From our good buddies at Oxide Tones, which takes care of a number of our Family? members, comes Canyons of Static, who are no strangers to the post-rock game. Their résumé has 9 releases, including a split 7″, and a Christmas album (you know how I love ambient holiday music). Their music, though not fancy or flashy, is a sold display of talent.

Peaceful and impressive in that Signal Hill kind of way, Canyons of Static has a sound that is great for any listener, young or old (they said this in their own description, and I feel it fits them incredibly well). They have a beautiful wall of sound, and I don’t know if they made it this way or it’s their production quality, but they feature their drums quite significantly, which I love. Interesting from the first song, they vary between the intense and the ambient within 3 minutes. “Take Heart” is an 8 minute-long demonstration of why people still listen to them after nine releases. Not only are they talented, but they have a unique style. Take 3:40 on the previously mentioned track: they dropped from the introduction into a mellow moment, where they bring in recordings of what appears to be a conversation over the telephone, echoing on. They then use this as the bottom layer of their next segment, which is something I haven’t heard so perfectly executed.

As much as they have staying power in the genre, their song structure is also a drawback. In a lot of instances, I feel like they play it safe, and where I feel they could have done something explosive and wonderful, I’m simply just left wondering. In addition, I feel like this album is more segmented than it should have been. They have such a knack for flowing between different tempos and emotions on an album, yet the tracks themselves seem to divide where one ends and the other begins. This normally isn’t a problem for most instrumental/ambient bands (actually, it’s seen more as a hindrance, rather than a strength), but the clear separations between songs makes the listener realize how short this album is. 5 tracks and 33 minutes long, Farewell Shadows doesn’t pull you into the album, getting you emotionally involved with the development. On the flip side, this does aid in the appeal of this album to either younger or newer audiences, who are used such a format from other genres.

Rating: Canyons of Static, hailing from West Bend, Wisconsin, is by no means “post-rock for dummies”; their treasures are there for the keen of ear. Farewell Shadows is an impeccable feat of technical ability and listenability, and only a fool would discount them. Where they fall short for some, they provide something grand in the way their this album plays out, making it something I would tell anyone who wants to listen to post-rock to get. 3/5 kegs



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