Canon Canyon - Sit Down and Listen [10 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Canon Canyon

Sit Down and Listen [10 inch] (2008)

Rural Wolf

Canon Canyon had my attention when it was brought up on their one-sheet that the album was produced by Matt Bayles (Botch, Isis, Minus the Bear) and mastered by Chris Common (who's produced These Arms Are Snakes, the Coma Recovery). So I put the 10" on the player and got something totally different than what I expected.

Still, that surprise was a fairly pleasant one.

Sit Down and Listen is a musically upbeat and super breezy collection of indie/folk-country-type stuff. It wouldn't be completely out of place in a recent Sub Pop release calendar, as sporadic moments somewhat resemble a more organic, stripped-down (musically and structurally) Band of Horses or the Helio Sequence's folky latter-day moments. Where the big difference comes is in how shockingly economical their songwriting is. All of the album's songs clock in at about two minutes apiece. Really, they're over before you know it, but that's hardly a bad thing.

The best moments come when frontman Michael J. Cooper (half of the mere duo here on record) flexes his vocal muscles. In opener "Unwanted Heroic News," he searingly mutters with a twang, "How dare you try to punish me / for allowing my son to decide" and it sticks with you hard. In the lush title track, he howls with a cackle and everything saunters in a layered and pretty movement. "Sunny Mornings," however, might have the most memorable hook of the bunch ("I could love you for life"). Then there's "Eastbound Train," which is as kind a kiss-off as one can make to an old lover.

At 10 songs and 22 minutes, I don't know whether to call Sit Down and Listen an EP or full-length. Maybe it's what they're calling a "mini-album" these days. Either way, I do know that this is a charming and pleasant listen that's straightforward sometimes and flexible enough otherwise to work pretty well.

Not Coming Back
Sit Down and Listen
Eastbound Train
Juan de Fuca
Travelin' Souls