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Laura Stevenson and the Cans - Sit Resist (Cover Artwork)

Laura Stevenson and the Cans

Laura Stevenson and the Cans: Sit ResistSit Resist (2011)
Don Giovanni Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: thepopeofchili-townthepopeofchili-town
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I'm not exactly sure who or what introduced me to the music of one Laura Stevenson and her band, the Cans. Their music is pretty far outside the realm of what I generally listen to, and pretty far outside the realm of punk rock, so how she came to be associated with this scene is beyond me, but now .
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I'm not exactly sure who or what introduced me to the music of one Laura Stevenson and her band, the Cans. Their music is pretty far outside the realm of what I generally listen to, and pretty far outside the realm of punk rock, so how she came to be associated with this scene is beyond me, but now that she's here, I'm not complaining.

However, it does take a few minutes for Ms. Stevenson's latest offering, Sit Resist, to really kick in. Opener "Halloween Pts. 1 & 2" feels more like an extended intro than a fully fleshed-out song, and could probably have its runtime cut in half and be just as effective.

The next track, first single "Master of Art" is where things really get good. Its opening drumbeat will have you air drumming before the song reaches the 15-second mark. Laura's vocals here are the best we've heard from her yet, and they weren't too shabby in the past. Meanwhile, "The Healthy One" is fun and bouncy, almost like an indie pop sea shanty, full of accordions and all manner of bells and whistles (literally), and is one of the best tracks on the album.

Lyrically, Stevenson has a gift for turning the mundane into something honest and appealing. The opening lines of "Caretaker", for example: "I wake up, I feed your cat, and tell myself that I'm okay where I'm at." Right away you're sucked into the narrator's world, and it's just one of many points on Sit Resist where the listener can find something emotional to latch on to. Mid-album highlight "Peachy" is an absolutely scathing break-up song. Stevenson doesn't hold back much lyrically, and I'm thankful for that. It's refreshing to hear someone go for the throat, even it happens to be set to a pretty melody.

The strongest moments on Sit Resist come when it is in fact Laura Stevenson and the Cans playing, and not just Laura Stevenson. The tracks that feature just Laura accompanied by a guitar and/or piano lack the energy of the full-band tunes, and unfortunately they are alternated pretty much one after another throughout Sit Resist. A little resequencing would have worked wonders and given the album a better flow. The band behind Laura does some interesting things, and hopefully their talents will be utilized more in the future.

Other than those small complaints, however, Sit Resist is a fine listen from a gifted, young singer-songwriter who has improved with each release thus far. Pick this one up.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Bomb the Music Industry! - VacationThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangIron Chic - Not Like ThisJoyce Manor - Joyce ManorAndrew Jackson Jihad - Knife ManRVIVR - LP [12-inch]Spraynard - FuntitledFrank Turner - England Keep My BonesThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
arejaypunx (June 5, 2011)

This is one of the best albums of the year, without a doubt. I haven't listened to it enough yet to REALLY rate it but holy fuck I am in love with the first impression. Absolutely likeable.

mahalfy (May 2, 2011)

Really impressed with this record.

inagreendase (April 27, 2011)

@FutonRevolutionist

Yeah, quit now.

jacknife737 (April 27, 2011)

Awesome album: nice review too.

tofuatomic (April 27, 2011)

I bought three records this week, and downloaded this one for free, and it's the best thing I've listened this year I think. Fantastic.

ThisRespirator (April 27, 2011)

This is AOTY for me so far..And that's saying a lot when Defeater, Joyce Manor and Red City Radio have all put out great records.

"Caretaker" is my favorite song of the year. It'll probably stay that way...The "This is the last night in the house I was born in.." part gets me every fucking time. That song makes me feel like crying. Her voice is simply amazing. There's not a song on this record that I don't love.

joe_weasel (April 26, 2011)

i haven't been this excited about a new album in a fairly long time. its one of those records that come out and you CANT listen to anything else for at least 2 weeks because it just doesn't compare.

i'm beginning to prefer the new halloween for production reasons. the healthy one is obviously a stand-out track, but i've also been digging montauk monster and the wait (you know an albums good when everybody has a different favorite song from it.)

the cans really stepped it up when they became more of a band rather than a solo project. you could hear the potential on the holy ghost lp, but they surpassed all of their previous efforts with sit resist.

Deadpan (April 26, 2011)

Really enjoying this. I too think "Red Clay Roots" is a great track, really soulful and... bluesy, I guess? Great vocals.

likeaparasite (April 26, 2011)

I love this album. It's beautiful. I'm disappointed that "Barnacles" was not mentioned in the review. Hell of a song and my favourite on the album. Super romantic, wonderfully written, and featuring the best use of a horn I've heard in awhile.

I think this is a huge improvement over "A Record", where I only liked three songs and "Landslide/The Dig" was the only one with a really catchy melody and memorable hooks. The rest was mostly plodding filler, and the main reason I liked "A Shine to It" was because it reminded me of the cover by Bomb the Music Industry!.

This album is much more consistent, although I think the last song is unnecessary and "The Wait" would have been a better way to end it. Here's an album that is engrossing instrumentally with vocals that have so much conviction and heart (damn, she has some nice...pipes!), they always hit emotionally. Some of the lyrics are a bit strange and morbid at times, but that doesn't detract from the power of the songs. The best songs hold together excellently on every level.

frensal (April 26, 2011)

Love it.

bryne (April 26, 2011)

Great album.

mattramone (April 26, 2011)

I don't get the hype. She's got a decent voice but the songs are so whatever.

dev (April 26, 2011)

One of the best albums of 2011, for sure. Love her voice. Master of Art is pretty near perfect.

timorous_me (April 26, 2011)

I saw them play in Anaheim last week and they were awesome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgP78vDh3e0

This is my second favorite record so far this year (right behind RCR).

brangelina (April 26, 2011)

Such a great record!

FutonRevolutionist (April 26, 2011)

To be honest, the little in-between songs like Red Clay Roots are some of my favorites...although I do agree that this new recording of Halloween Parts 1&2 lacks the punch of the version on the split 7" with BTMI.

Also, I was halfway through writing a review for this one. Should I just quit now that there's a staff review up?

d_boons_ghost (April 26, 2011)

In response to the opening paragraph, Stevenson used to be (or maybe still is, I don't know or care) the keyboard player for Bomb The Music Industry! I think some other people from BTMI! are also in The Cans, 'cause they're always touring together.

Controversial statement: A Record was the best thing to ever come out of the existence of BTMI!

moistphily (April 26, 2011)

In love with her voice. Nice album, my favourite so far.

bud_boomer (April 26, 2011)

In seeing Laura Stevenson, I was struck by the stark difference in tone between her personality and her songs. I found her between song banter really charming and engaging, but thought her songs were lacking that same personality.

On the plus side, the one song I've heard on this record has the exact same into as The Ronettes "Be My Baby", so that's a start I guess.

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