Psychothermia EP

Written by: PP on 19/05/2009 14:23:56

Based on what I've seen, read and heard about Canobliss, it feels like the band are desperately trying to get success through whatever means possible. From world wide street teams and free music downloads to mobile phone ring tones and accepting money orders, evil voices could certainly justify calling these guys sell-outs in the harshest meaning of the word. That is, until they actually take a quick listen at the band's latest album "Psychotermia", a seven track EP that sounds so nu-metal a la 1999-2001 that I was incredibly surprised to find that it was in fact released in July last year. But aside from the dated sound of a genre that was buried half a decade ago, what's the good news about Canobliss?

Well, for starters, the nu-metal / hard rock hybrid, tried-tested-and-dead as the formula may be, actually delivers a number of reasonably catchy songs, which has always been the key point about writing nu-metal. The idea of shoving artistic completeness aside for writing simple-but-effective songs may not be sound advice for any other genre, but for nu-metal it worked while it lasted. The highlight is on aggressive clean vocal melody and a typically semi-industrial instrumental landscape to create a pseudo-heavy sound. For example, "Adios" shares a (worryingly) similar vocal harmony to a "Toxicity"-era System Of A Down song, I'm thinking either "Aerials" or "Chop Suey". It may not be an exact match but it was enough to make me go back, check whether they copied it, and conclude that it could've been on the famous SOAD album. While I think we can all agree that SOAD is (was?) an awesome band, I think we can also all agree that we don't need more than one SOAD in the world (plus its offshoots Serj Tankian and Scars On Broadway of course). Another such moment presents itself to a lesser extent on "Pangea", where the band recalls some of the more infectious Disturbed moments. Not bad, but not particularly original either.

Not all tracks sound like they've been cut-n-pasted of parts from other famous nu-metal bands, however. The EP opener "Notorious" is fairly original, but the problem is that it isn't as good. Luckily, the title track steps out of the trend and runs away with the best track title without contest on the record. It's catchier than the others, and it's rapid tempo-changes and simple three-part riff during the verses grabs my attention each time. Plus it's impossible to not sing along in the chorus, so thumbs up for that. But despite the decent number of good songs on the record, Canobliss' quest to become a signed act may be even further away with "Psychothermia" than it was before. Labels know that a large majority of people have grown tired and bored of nu-metal, and as such they tend to touch bands in the genre only with an exceptionally long poison stick. Is that injustice? That's a double-edged sword, because on one hand promising acts like Canobliss get ignored, but if that's the cost of avoiding bands like Adema popping up again....I'll take it.


Download: Psychothermia, Adios
For the fans of: System Of A Down, Serj Tankian, Scars On Broadway, Faith No More
Listen: Myspace

Release date 19.07.2008

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