The Cannanes have been making music since the 80’s. They’ve got a reputation for various feats such as managing themselves from the start, touring the world, playing at sold out shows. Hell, Kurt Cobain even called them one of his favorite bands. I hope I’m not alone in saying that The Cannanes sure do seem like the greatest band I’ve never heard of until now with their latest album Small Batch.
To be completely honest, I couldn’t narrow The Cannanes down to a specific genre, nor use any single set of words to describe them. Small Batch has left me wanting more Cannanes, but I’m not sure why. The first song, “Bumper,” sucked me in with the ferocity of a tornado. Soft vocals, occasional brass bits, and an overall groovy melody are all it really takes to win me over, and it started to make sense as to why The Cannanes are so popular. But as the album progressed, I grew a little more and more bored.
Simplicity is key, but sometimes The Cannanes’ Small Batch seems to lack substance. The half way point
of the album, “Basics,” sounds… basic. There’s really not that much going on other than the same couple repetitive melodies that are not too interesting. Even on the lyrical front things feel a little generic. As track four, “Molecule,” came around I began to gain a little hope. “Molecule” has a spy-movie feel to it. It came across as refreshing. That is until, just like before, the song progressed into nothing –it wasn’t really fleshed out and that was a let down. It’s at this point it was hard not to ask “When will this be over?”
As the end did approach, The Cannanes began to rebound. The last track of Small Batch, “Zone” is nearly perfect. It’s managed to be just involved enough as to not force the band to leave their comfort zone, while simultaneously giving the listener something worth paying attention to. Furthermore, it manages to contrast against the rest of the album so much that it really sticks out. It leaves you wanting more; which takes me to my final point. The Cannanes have a je ne sais pas quoi to them. They don’t come off as the sharpest knives in the drawer at first, but Small Batch is really just a small batch. The album is unforgettably forgettable. On the other hand, it’s piqued my interest and anyone who hasn’t listened to The Cannanes yet wouldn’t be wrong to start here and now.
The Cannanes “Zone” REMOVED BY REQUEST