zaterdag 1 februari 2020

Okay Decay. Canshaker Pi

The first time I heard a Canshaker Pi song, it gave me a fright. It was a video that was released, at a time I did not even know Paleo Speed Super Donkey had folded. It was an edgy, rough song. The kind I had to get used to, to call it euphemistically.

So it came as a huge surprise when the band's first album was released later that year, as I played it so much. The second album sounded a bit like a disappointment after an album laying the barrier for all to come tremendously high.

Come Okay Decay. The band had to decide what to do before making it. Do we stay or do we go?, was the existential question so many young bands seem to face the past few years, where so many decided to do what Canshaker Pi has avoided: stop. And am I glad they resisted as Okay Decay is a fabulous and incredibly strong album, containing everything Canshaker Pi excels in and more than I ever expected.

The intro to the title song opening the album is like a deluge. Canshaker Pi throws it all at the listener and immediately takes the gas off, to show how bad things can be in modern life, having to stand on your own feet and be responsible for your own acts and life('s choices). "The burden you have to pay".

The ambiguity of 'Okay Decay' is the entry for the whole album. The band still has its prickly side of slightly off notes and riffs fitting perfectly in its alternative rock/pop songs, but shows other sides of itself as well. A quieter side where the melody is allowed to show itself. The mix of the two sides within the songs and on the album as a whole shows, in my opinion the growth the band has gone through in the past few years, while still in their early to mid 20s. The easy way out is to write that this is just a Nirvana stop-start rip off, but I say no. For that the music of Canshaker Pi has too much of its own. There is a Canshaker Pi sound for sure.

Willem Smit and men are huge talents that should be allowed to grow further as they can compete with the best alternative rock bands from around the globe. Like a Scottish rocker wrote to me when they played Glasgow last year: "This is an amazing band". It ought to be able to find a way to allow young bands like this to find their stride and develop, conquer the world. We are dance country #1 it seems, so why not in alternative rock as well?

But then a band like Canshaker Pi should not be playing for men my age. Listening to the enthusiasm and energy the band puts into Okay Decay its infectuousness should catch youngsters loving a good rock band, with enough money in their pocket to buy the vinyl after the show.

I already honoured a few albums this month, but this is the next one. On Okay Decay Canshaker Pi finds the balance between alternative rock and a softer sound that still is alternative enough to convince while showing a new depth allowing it to go any way it wants to go next year. A balance between pleasing and stroking the cat against its hair. The playing with dynamics gives a view on what lies beneath the song it became and what it once was at conception. Willem Smit has even found his Eddie Vedder voice here and there, without giving himself away at all. Okay Decay is one hell of an album.


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