The Cannanes

The Cannanes

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For their self-titled release, the Cannanes expanded to a five-piece, with Ivor Moulds contributing drums on a number of tracks while Francesca Bussey added bass and vocals. Rotating around with the regulars on those instruments must have been interesting, but the end result is another fine Cannanes album, gentle underground rock/pop jangle for those unafraid of such things. If hearing a song about a dearly departed doggie ("Caesar") gives one hives, then one should look elsewhere (as it is, said song is great, one of the numbers where Bussey takes lead with her similar-to-Gibson vocals). Things are a touch more crisp on this album than on others, but only just -- the soft focus fuzz and hum that is as much an element of the Cannanes as anything else still coats everything in a fine warm glow. O'Neil gets in some slightly unexpected guitar work here and there -- the heavily-compressed semi-wah-wah on "Asleep," to for example, that adds an extra element of power to the quick-paced track. "Drug-Induced Delirium" makes for a great start, a slow builder of a track that features the gently ironic touch of Gibson singing about "writing these songs for you" when, in fact, it's Nichols' lyric. Nichols himself has a scream of a song, "3-Way Release," with his bemused, mostly spoken word rendition of a day of talking with friends and pondering life over what is probably the band's most full-on, rock-out track ever. "Pedagogy (The Mystery of You)" comes pretty close to that, though, with O'Neil cranking the amps to the point of loud, trance-like levels as Gibson turns in a particularly fine vocal, sweetly slurred just enough, and a low, brooding bassline. "Swing, You Little Red Devil" wraps it up with a lightly funky and quite amusing meditation on Jesus' doings on earth -- and why not?

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