Kanine, 2018


REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


The understanding about many debut albums is that the artist will often sound like the sum of their influences and that it may take a couple of albums for the artist’s true sound to emerge. There are some major exceptions, of course – Ten, Greetings From Asbury Park, Black Sabbath, Murmur, etc. – but this not the rule.

Tallies definitely follows the rule, sounding far more like a pastiche of bands from a specific time frame than a vital and current band. It’s a fine album, mind you, but one that sounds like it should have come out in 1992. Whether the Canadian quartet can coalesce their influences into a unique voice remains to be seen, but the talent is very much there.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The band’s frame of reference is the lush dream-pop of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, and one quick listen will immediately call to mind the Sundays (“Midnight,”) Lush, the Cranberries, and even a dash of Siouxsie & The Banshees, with some Cult/Echo & The Bunnymen-like guitar chiming to boot. The songs don’t run overlong – three to five minutes – but they lack a punch and the hooks that the best song from that era had.

The album is very much of a piece, sucking in the listener to their own little world, so picking a standout track is tricky; if you like one, you’ll like them all. “Midnight,” “Trains and Snow” and the opener “Trouble” are probably the best of the bunch, but all the songs tend to blur together after a while, to the point where you’re not sure which one you are listening to. If the band had gone from “Easy Enough” into “Trouble” and back, I certainly wouldn’t have noticed.

But what the songs lack in individuality they make for in Sarah Cogan’s enveloping voice, the fine guitar work from Dylan Frankland, the accessible lyrics and the lush production. Frankland and Josh Korody co-produced the 11 songs here and took great care to emulate a specific feel, adding washes of reverb and a warmth to the music. Perhaps it’s the warmth of nostalgia, but it’s inviting nevertheless.

 Still, making it through the whole album is kind of a chore. In small doses, Tallies has plenty to offer, but its charms only last as long as those fleeting golden-tinged memories of one’s youth. Here’s hoping the band takes the best parts of their debut and pushes forward with a unique sound on their next album.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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