Canyons of Static
The Disappearance


2.5
average

Review

by Adam Downer STAFF
September 13th, 2008 | 15 replies | 8,540 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Epic post rock that's not really that epic.

A note to those starting a band: Do not reference Godspeed You! Black Emperor in your name if you are not going to sound anything like them. Doing so sets up certain expectations from your target audience, and being that that audience probably cries themselves to sleep every night to “BBF3,” almost anything you churn out will be a disappointment. See: canyonsofstatic, a Wisconsin quartet prone to glorious climaxes and beautiful tunes etc., etc. According to their press release, canyonsofstatic (not to be confused with 65daysofstatic or the Godspeed suite “Terrible Canyons of Static”) are ”Epic post-rock instrumental melodies mixed with monstrous walls of sound. The Disappearance sounds like an orchestra with a mountain of guitars crashing on top of it.

Holy fuck.

Though that description is certainly pretentious enough to conjure images of Godspeed, don’t be fooled: The Disappearance, canyonsofstatic’s debut record, sounds more like a bump in an otherwise severely flattened path than guitars having sex with symphonies or whatever their label says. It’s all so familiar: songs build on “dramatic” themes, guitarists wank on effect pedals, drummers wail on crash cymbals, and occasionally keyboards pop up to add texturing. Not to say it’s not all very skillfully done; it is. But canyonsofstatic's album runs from start to finish almost without any significance whatsoever. “Maps and Mazes” opens the record in the clouds somewhere, and The Disappearance never comes back down to earth. Instead, canyonsofstatic float on, slowly changing shape but never really doing anything all that interesting.

Though there are some stimulating moments on The Disappearance (the sudden left turn in “Shelter” or the keenly executed climax on “1:17” serve as key examples), those moments are too few and too far between to propel The Disappearance past mediocrity. Most of The Disappearance consists of guitarist Ross Severson finding a nice melody and letting it grow as the whole band plays slightly louder, all the while sounding like some other post rock band, except worse. To their credit, canyonsofstatic know their way around their instruments (the drums in particular are ace, courtesy of Nate Gaffney), and Severson can work EQs with the best of them, but the problem with The Disappearance is song construction. Through seven eerily similar tunes, the album meanders and grows tired. When the serene “Slowly to Sea” comes around to wrap up the record on what should be a blissfully sweet note, The Disappearance has gone by so inconsequentially, the effect is lost. Canyonsofstatic stresses the fact that they’re completely instrumental: no singers, no epic choir, nothing. They say this omission keeps the focus on the music, but since the music can’t maintain focus, The Disappearance gets pretty dull pretty quickly.

There’s not much to say about The Disappearance, which is perhaps its greatest flaw. This review could have been condensed into “epic post rock that’s not really that epic” and chances are you would know exactly what this sounds like. Canyonsofstatic have potential, and with time could flesh out into something truly remarkable, but right now, they’re simply another interesting looking name in a sea of bands that sound good by themselves, average in context.



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user ratings (5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
marksellsuswallets
September 13th 2008



4848 Comments


I remember seeing this band somewhere before and thinking "bad move" on the part of naming themselves after a Godspeed You! song...anyways, not surprised that this turned out mediocre...

robin
Emeritus
September 13th 2008



4247 Comments


i really like "are we still the good guys?" but i dunno how the rest compares.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2008



16083 Comments


figured you'd be in love with these guys

Doppelganger
September 13th 2008



3124 Comments


the song titles aren't miniature novels, so yeah this probably does suck

ninjuice
September 13th 2008



6760 Comments


(not to be confused with 65daysofstatic or the Godspeed suite “Terrible Canyons of Static”)

I was thinking "wasn't Jom digging this band?"
Very well written review.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
September 13th 2008



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Basically yeah.

Kage
September 13th 2008



1173 Comments


why do so many post rock bands have to namethemselveswithoutspaces

plane
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2008



6092 Comments


because they're dense dude
it's deep just think about it

SnackaryBinx
September 13th 2008



2309 Comments


I only read part of the summary where it said epic post rock, clicked the link to this review, and then read the rest of the summary. I then cried.

joshuatree
Emeritus
September 13th 2008



3743 Comments


this looks sososo bad

AtavanHalen
September 14th 2008



17927 Comments


why do so many post rock bands have to namethemselveswithoutspaces

whythehellnot

astrel
September 17th 2008



2614 Comments


it'snotpretentiousit'spostpretentious.This Message Edited On 09.17.08

angelmk
February 14th 2009



8 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

canyon is superb, i was amazed when first heard this, such a fine crafted , melodic , pleasent post rock

TricksterGRex
February 14th 2009



2087 Comments


65canyonsofstatic

nicolauz
September 28th 2010



62 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Can't believe this is on Sputnik. Soo many good bands and these guys are on here ? Drummer is the only good park of this band, singer/lead is a douche pedophile I went to High School with.



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