Sometimes, you can tell that even if the band’s brand new, it’s too good to be the first one for all involved. Chicago’s Canadian Rifle borrows a couple of cues from The GC5: their gruffness is matched by their smarts and burlap sense of melody. With Canadian Rifle, I get the feeling that they’ve earned the words they’re singing, have worked jobs that have broken a good many people, and they can hold their own against shit talkers face to face. (Could also be far afield here. Just speculating a hypothesis, is all.) Chew on this: it has all the earmarks of “street punk,” punk made by the working class, but it has none of the confining boxes that bands who self-apply that moniker too often jump right into (being “of the streets,” gang talk, pretending they’re English by borrowing their dress and lexicon). At the edges and in the gaps of these songs is great invention. In the middle, it’s as comfortable as a freshly baked chicken pot pie (or meatless equivalent). Great.
–todd (Squirrel Heart)