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Posted on April 10th, 2012 (8:17 am) by Emily Moran

There is no ignoring the experimental, transition infused sounds of Royal Canoes’ latest album, Extended Play . As an introduction to the album, obscure noise and djembe lead into invitation to remember not to “forget to focus close on the air above your nose.” Royal Canoes is aiming to sink a layer deeper than you would expect when first beginning to listen to their new album. Obscurity is played around with in the way that the songs are composed, as well as the unexpected instruments used played over their interesting, but often difficult to decipher lyrics.The group from Winnipeg, MB, consisting of members, Matt Peters (vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar), Bucky Driedger (electric guitar, vocals), Matt Schellenberg (keyboards, vocals), Brendan Berg (bass, keyboard, vocals), Derek Allard (drum kit), and Michael Jordan (electronic drums) have been positively reviewed by Inyourspeakers in the past. The more electronic sounding, “Today We’re Believers” left listeners anticipating more of this unique-sounding sextet.

Extended Play begins with “Hold on to the Metal”, which introduces the album with obscure noise and djembe/synth percussion. Trebly guitar comes in as the song builds into the first transition, taking over to change the a more upbeat, playful song. “Hold on to the Metal” quickly melts into voices in unison and a chorus of female voices. Although the song may be a little too busy at times, it is definitely enthralling.

Directly after “Hold on to the Metal” begins a conversation in the background, quickly interrupted by steady bass and acoustic-sounding guitar riffs. “Bathtubs” takes a different turn, hooking you in with bass and pulling you into the song completely with simple, but fitting guitar riffs. “Bathtubs” progressively sounds more electronic as it continues to transition and unfold. This song also has a ton of transitions, making you unable to anticipate what could possibly come next. But it works.

“Bloodrush” is similar to the previous two songs in that it also has an unexpected introduction and an avant-garde-ish composition. It’s electronic and rhythmic as a piano melody slowly inches into the foreground. The vocals are uncanny at moments and hypnotize you as the song switches back and forth between bridges and verses.

To end on a calm note, “Caught in a Loop” keeps it really laid back. It is the most straightforward song on the album, which is by this point unexpected. It is the easiest to listen to even though it is the least interesting of the songs on Extended Play . It is bubbly and beachy and the lyrics are much easier to follow.

This is a great album despite the generally incomprehensible lyrics. Their style is innovative, but somehow still lighthearted. It's playful and upbeat and their unique sound definitely leaves a lasting impression.

Track List:
1. Hold On To The Metal
2. Bathtubs
3. Bloodrush
4. Caught In A Loop

Royal Canoe
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

73 / 100
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