After a lengthy wait since album number one, Canterbury are back with their sophomore effort ‘Heavy In The Day’ – an album that’s representative of a band that have grown and utilized their influences in every possible way.
Opening things up is title track ‘Heavy In The Day’. It’s a moody opener that builds and builds but doesn’t really amount to much. The almost Billy Talent-esque vocal gives the track atmosphere, but it all just sounds a bit disjointed and mucky. To put it simply: it doesn’t do much as an introduction to a highly anticipated second record.
It’s not long until things pick up; ‘More Than Know’ is an absolute belter with a seriously great chorus and an accompanying drum beat that batters you every step of the way, while ‘Gloria’ is just… well, any fan of Canterbury will know how good a song it is, and it’s up there with their very best efforts, packed full of emotion and contains an incredibly catchy chorus. The whole effort is reminiscent of Straight Lines and that’s certainly not amongst the worst company that the band could be keeping.
It’s in the latter half of the album that Canterbury’s brand of Indie Rock comes to the forefront. They really go for it with ‘Calm Down’, and with the funk tinged bass line and driving chorus it almost sees the band pull it off instantly, but as with most of the album it will take a few listens to click. While ‘Wrapped in Rainbows’ contains the Indie Rock element at heart, the intro is reminiscent of ‘Folie a Deux’ era Fall Out Boy but it ultimately leaves things feeling confused as it plods along through a mix radio friendly indie pop and not so accessible rock.
Things don’t really improve with the token ballad in ‘She’s a Flame’ – it’s fairly uninspiring and comes across as a bit of a lazy inclusion for this record. Recent single ‘Saviour’ isn’t the most accessible track that the band have put together either, and ‘Drive Ride Drive’ blends into one gigantic blast of noise that doesn’t really show off Canterbury as the great band they can be.
That said, the album closes on a high note with the final two tracks. ‘Garden Grows’ shows just Canterbury as better songwriters – it’s perhaps some of their most accomplished work to date – and album closer ‘Seen it All’ sees things get a bit apocalyptic with the experimental use of strings to great effect.
All in all, ‘Heavy In The Day’ comes across as a bit of a confused album. At worst it’s messy and devoid of any truly great ideas, and at best it’s absolutely fantastic. It does seem to be an album born to be played live, so any final judgement on the not-so-great moments will be a reserved until the songs have been heard blasted out from the stage.