Certain bands make very difficult things look very easy. One of the hardest and most elusive things in music is on the face of it pretty straightforward: write memorable tunes. It seems simple enough, but I’ve lost count of the number of faceless, unremarkable indie bands I’ve heard in the last few years who all make broadly the right sound for my ears, but whose music leaves my head almost as fast as it enters.
Kid Canaveral, on the other hand, are the opposite. They write music in a general style which I am not usually all that keen on, but I could pick pretty much every song I’ve ever heard of theirs out of a lineup, so to speak, after little more than one listen. I don’t know how they do it, but they clearly have that one skill which eludes so many other bands: the knack of writing incredibly infectious and memorable songs.
This EP is no different; one listen and every track was firmly lodged in there. Their sound is evolving from that heard on their series of singles released over the last couple of years, and I really like that. Opener Left & Right could be right off any of their previous records, but Stretching the Line has a dreamier sound, a little bit of violin (and recorder?), and is less furiously bouncy. It’s also a cracking tune.
Third track Long in the Tooth is even less obviously poppy, leading with synth, distorted, fuzzy vocals, almost as if the band are signposting new directions they intend to explore, but only leading us there very gently, one small step at a time. It’s well done, this EP. They seem to have been able to explore new directions really effectively, whilst still maintaining that umbilical connection to earlier work for those of us who might need to make the move one step at a time: the perfect example of how to explore new territory without abandoning old strengths. It also suggests that there’s more to this band than just hummable pop tunes, which is something else I find rather intriguing.
I may have some grumbly things to say about releasing things on cassette, but that aside I would strongly recommend this EP to anyone, and I am gutted I had to miss their launch party because of recording commitments.
The Left and Right EP is released on Monday on strictly limited cassette tape and digital download.
Info on how to get a hold of this on the Straight to Video myspace page.
Listen to mp3s here
Video of ‘Smash Hits’ from Vic Galloway’s BBC show (not on this EP)
Photo credit: Andrew McKenna