Review Summary: Where did this come from?
Newbury Comics has got to be one of my favorite music stores for many reasons. The variety, their random collection of goofy toys, hats, and posters, (Not a comic to be seen though.) But my all time favorite quality of the store is that they proudly display demos from local groups, which is where I found Riff Cannon's first demo. It said on the front of the demo “...could be sludges next big thing... catchy riffs and thick tones... promising...” from a local critic. I partially agree with this statement, the riffs found here are better than catchy, their utterly brilliant, and yes the tone is great too. Riff Cannons music isn't really sludge, its sludge influenced, but not really sludge. Also, Riff Cannon could be the next big thing if they keep putting out metal of this quality.
As mentioned before the riffs and guitars on this demo are amazing, simply put. Their catchy, heavy, and well put together which is more than most bands can say. The guitar riffs also have a flow quality to them, no chugging one riff and then abruptly switching to the next, all the parts just work well and don't feel awkward or forced. The bass on the demo for the most part is up to par with the guitar playing, but I was always wishing the bassist would do more, as he is mixed well, and some extra creativity in that area would go that extra mile.
As for the other area of the rhythm section the drums are above average and try something different. There are constant fills done to great effect, and the drums forgo the ordinary double bass pedal assault of most bands in the genre and go for a more cymbal oriented approach. This is really refreshing and makes the drums a pleasure to listen to. The vocals are shouted, mean, and fit the music like a glove, giving the perfect emotion and sound the entire length of the demo. I wish I could tell you the lyrics were top notch and were socially aware without seeming pretentious, but the demo I bought did not come with a vocal booklet and I cant understand the vocalist so, yea.
The production is really good for a demo creating the perfect tone and having each instrument nearly balanced in the mix, but for some reason the drums are pretty quiet which is a shame because their so good. Riff Cannon's sound for the most part is Sludge influenced modern metal, except on the middle song Oracle, which is all sludge. It's fast paced, angry, and overall sounds like an early, heavier version of Baroness. I really hope these guys get popular, fast, because this demo left me wanting more. Despite only being about ten minutes Riff Cannon's debut demo is great and I can't wait to see what they do next.