Theoretically, this group began as a rock-oriented outlet for Damon Che (of math-rock titans Don Caballero) and Karl Hendricks (the, uh, Karl Hendricks Trio). But given the unabashed proclivity of both players to indulge their quirky, algebraic tendencies, the result has always been a few steps left of R-O-C-K. For "Get Out Alive," the Canaries are just one -- Che -- with some assistance from Noah Leger and John Purse. If there was ever a question about where the bombast on all those Don Cab albums was coming from, the answer is plainly spelled out: Van freakin' Halen. Che comes closer to achieving the "brown sound" than any other guitarist out there, and that monstrously muddy warmth isn't diluted by any of Hendricks' indie shenanigans. There's finger-tapping here, kids. (Che even manages to show Ozzy some love with a bit of "Over the Mountain" drumwork on "Last Side of Town, Pt. 2.") "Get Out Alive" still gets contorted into some challenging and complex shapes and, no, it won't be blasting out of any Camaros any time soon, but it goddamn rocks, and that's just fine.
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