The return of Yorkshire hardcore pioneers CANVAS was one of the highlights of this years Ritual Festival, as they chose a hometown show in Leeds to mark their full return to action. Several months on, and an album has now surfaced, and after that successful performance and a handful of other shows through the summer, there is a fair amount of interest as their new album Worry finally appears.
The first track Stay A While, almost feels like you are being lulled into a false sense of security, with its sombre feel and slow, melodic ambience. This carries on until the last few seconds of the track, when you can start to feel the music coming to life and just as Low smashes its way into your ears, we are welcomed into the full CANVAS experience. It feels like normal service is resumed with its jagged guitars and distressed, screamed vocals. This is a pattern which flows throughout Worry, and to great effect, as the slower, mellower tracks such as Loveless meld into a much more frenetic track (in this case Death Of Us, a track built upon a healthy old school hardcore rhythm section).
It’s not only from track to track that these switches in pace and melody occur. Often within the same track, you can get several changes in mood. This is one of the main strong points on the album. Whereas lyrically, it seems to be quite a bleak world that CANVAS live in, they have managed to create songs that both add to and distract from that desolation. In both Loveless and Haunt You they have produced something that almost feeds on what you are feeling when you are listening to it. After a long day at work, the track sounded claustrophobic as it built up as if you are being walled in by the noise, but the next time (which was by chance a weekend) the same songs sounded as if they were building to some euphoric crescendo, despite the lyrics being exactly the same. That’s the type of thing that brings you back to an album time and time again. By the time the final track All Alone comes to its (and the albums) conclusion, you are left wanting to check it out again to see if you missed something.
Overall, a really impressive album from CANVAS, and a very interesting listen too. One that at times is pleasant and mellow, and at others harsh, and challenging and almost nihilistic in its outlook. Even during these harsher moments, there are heavy doses of melody to take the edge of things a little without losing any of its focus and impact. Its great to see that all of that time away hasn’t blunted any of CANVAS‘ intensity. Also the fact that the ten songs come to a little over half an hour also make it an album that doesn’t lose any of its impetus by dragging on for too long. An intriguing album from start to finish.
Worry is out now via Basick Records.
Like CANVAS on Facebook.