“If it’s been progressive rock since 1973, why hasn’t it changed?” That’s what crossed my mind as I listened to the King Crimson-styled collection of high-energy music with jangly time signatures, chords that don’t have English letters assigned to them, and frisky titles like “Adaptive Optics” and “Emergence from Dispersion.”
Intense drums (Hunter Ginn), flocks of argumentative guitars (Nathan Sapp, Chris Rushing, Gael Pirlot), and a stack of retro 8-bit synthesizers (Donnie Smith) vie to see who can complete the 1/8th mile fastest even as the group stays in sync on these conceptual, exhausting melodies. Occasionally a track like “Soliton” is bracketed by moody noise tracks that allow you to catch your breath, but most of the time we’re flying along at mach speed, and you’ll feel like you accidently signed up for “Advanced Quantum Mechanics” when you thought the syllabus said “Rocks for Jocks.” I give these guys an A+ for intellectual curiosity and technical skill, but the listening experience will exhaust you before your time.
Small doses of Canvas Solaris at odd hours are the tonic here, and I can’t begin to imagine what a concert might do to my rocked out brain cells.
Canvas Solaris: www.myspace.com/canvassolaris