Let me introduce you to CANAVAR…consisting of vocalist / guitarist Deklan Webb, guitarist Jack Bowden, bassist Rowan Rashley and drummer Toby Rashley, they bring together a chaotic blend of heavy metal and hardcore punk to create an equally commanding and confident sound; so confident in fact that they totally skipped recording an EP…no testing the water for these fuckers they dove straight into a full length album! With a name roughly translating as Monster…let’s see just how monstrous they sound on “Canavar”.
We open up with the lead single “Sacrilege” and initially we’ve got this really bouncy, up-tempo punk-rock piece; the vocals are clean though very rough around the edges giving it that traditional skater-punk vibe…but this soon descends into a more traditional metal style breakdown and a crazy solo! The classic metal approach charging through, but this only leads us into the tracks climax, foreshadowing the rest of the album…Deklan switches up his vocals and sounds almost possessed such is the change in tone, the inclusion of growls being so sudden, it’s an interesting start. “Brick By Brick” follows up and while it has certain thrash-inspired elements running through its riffs there is still a pretty prominent punk backbone here; you can hear the influence the likes of RISE AGAINST or even say, ANTI-FLAG have had musically on the 4-piece, and naturally as a result it’s quite another pacey offering.
Those same thrash elements can again be heard in “Fire Inside” which for all intents and purposes sounds like the bastard offspring of some weird METALLICA / SLAYER crossover experiment from a 6-string perspective, while vocally again it bridges the gap between hardcore punk and heavy metal, absolutely full of piss and vinegar. The main highlight however comes courtesy of “Devil’s In The Details” which initially embraces a subtle MISFITS vibe while also harbouring more modern alternative rock aspects, mirroring artists like MATCHBOOK ROMANCE and the aforementioned Creeper. The rest of the album generally fleets back and forth, hand picking certain qualities from all genres listed above…there are slower cuts like “Deadly Sins” and “Moral Compass”…then there’s the less than two-minute flurry of closing track “Ready And Willing”, and while musically they’re not reinventing the wheel or anything as such here, this is for the most part a really fun album and that’s really down to THEIR enjoyment, the band are having a fucking whale of a time making noise and it resonates. Personally I’d like to hear them focus on being a solid punk unit as it’s that area they sound strongest and more fluid musically, but overall, it’s a fine album.