CANYONS OF STATIC - Farewell Shadows

Canyons Of Static - Farewell Shadows

5 songs
33:24 minutes
***** **
Oxide Tones


Coming from a small town in Wisconsin unluckily best known for its library controversy (that’s the trivia unavailable to reviewers in an age prior to Wikipedia), Canyons Of Static are a post rock quintet who’s been busily releasing EPs and LPs since 2006. Having not been among the instigators of the genre, it’s logical that they had it harder to make themselves heard, but maybe their third longplayer Farewell Shadows will change that fact in Europe, as they are now signed to a German record label.

Nowadays it’s of course very hard to bring new impulses to this instrumental genre, and to be sincere, Canyons Of Static are at first glance just another “post rock by numbers” band. So don’t expect any stylistic intricacies that other bands haven’t come up with before. Fortunately though, the four men and one woman have a very deft hand when it comes to songwriting, so that you will find yourself getting immersed into their subtle melodies without even knowing that it’s happening. My major gripe with Farewell Shadows is therefore that it’s just too short with its five songs or thirty-three minutes for a longplayer, especially since Canyons Of Static are able to entertain throughout. Just listen to the eight minute long opener Take Heart and you know what I mean. Their take at post rock might not be so different from Explosions In The Sky, but I dare say that the Wisconsinites have an even better ear for gripping melodies. The song is mostly carried by the guitars, but the electric piano sounding synth adds a welcome warmth. The song’s major impact comes though with its circular melody that won’t let you loose any time soon. The following Wake is nearly as long and also scores with its majestic setup. In some ways, Canyons Of Static’s music feels less grandiose that that of the better known proponents of the genre, but quite subtly they always manage to secretly bring their music to arousing crescendos that you would not have expected in the first place.

Normally I would have graded Farewell Shadows eight points, but the overly short length makes me subtract one point. Still, this band is worth keeping an eye on, and I suggest that every fan of well crafted instrumental rock music give this band some moments of your attention.

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