The first thing that catches my attention when reviewing a new CD is its cover, or presentation. It is every album’s first impression and it often hints of what’s to come for the listener.
With this expectation in mind, the cover of Weather Can Conceal, by Deer Cadence, confuses me a little. Looking at the cover of this CD, I see a quiet, peaceful, Northern scene.
The music of Weather Can Conceal, however, offers an unexpected contrast to this picture of tranquility. The name of the band is also misleading. The word cadence means a rhythmic flow (of sounds or words) or the beat or measure of any rhythmic movement.
When I hear the words “deer” and “cadence”, together, I picture a quiet, graceful, peaceful type of sound. This is not what awaits the listener.
Deer Cadence (made up of Travis Armour, Wayne Garrett, Patrick Singh and Jeff Van Zandvoort) is the Yukon’s original indie rock band, and this creation, Weather Can Conceal, is the band’s third CD. Its inspiration comes from such bands as Pixies, Guided By Voices, and Death Cab for Cutie.
I know I have mentioned this before, but I feel I must point out what I think are important considerations when creating a CD: entertainment value, musical accomplishment and getting one’s message across.
To me, this CD is a good example of a great bar band with a raw garage sound.
The mix is well balanced, the musicianship is good (especially where cello and additional guitar and percussion are incorporated into the sound) and the vocals are fine but perhaps a little pitchy in places. I think I can best describe the vocals as having a Dylan-like quality (without the poetry of Dylan or the zeitgeist of the ’60s).
I quite enjoyed hearing the cello in Your Defense Wins Games. It lends a melancholy feel to the song despite the fact that it gets overpowered in places by strange guitar plucking.
Middle Distance Loneliness has a good rock beat and an interesting and catchy hook in the melody.
I listened to this CD about four or five times and I must admit I can’t really get into it. I know however, that it will attract the type of listener who appreciates Yukon pop with an edge, and I encourage listeners to check it out.
In my opinion, Travis Armour provides a fitting description of Weather Can Conceal with the following lyrics, “But often the case, they drowned out the bass, the singer slipped a key …”
While I would rather listen to the bands that inspired them, Yukon Indie rock fans, I’m sure, will enjoy this new collection of songs by Deer Cadence.
Have you produced a CD and would like to have it reviewed? Please contact Dale Cooper at [email protected]