Reviews Summer Cannibals Show Us Your Mind

Summer Cannibals

Show Us Your Mind

I know I’d already read the band’s bio, but I think I would have guessed Pacific Northwest anyway. There’s just something dreary and with a bi to’ sunshine about Summer Cannibals. Just like their name, it’s a mix of positive and desperate, with a genre tag somewhere in the vein of grunge-pop.

It’s the Portland, OR band’s second full-length and the songs are all built around pop structures that are then deconstructed via choppy pessimism. The songs are catchy in the right places, with positive vibes and visions of sugarplums in our heads, but they really walk a darker path whenever that musical refrain isn’t on repeat. “Summer” is the most evident of this, even dropping in some “ah-ah-ah’s.” Instead of jangly guitar, it’s always a grunge-style riff-base that makes it chunkier and less, well, sunny, though it comes closest on this track. In “Something New” there is a manic energy at play, but it has a dark touch that counters the energy. The final song, “TV,” is a solid example of where the band steps away from convention. It’s a riffy ballad-type song but instead of building the momentum or drama, it plods and chops, morose lyrical delivery atop more sunny guitars. In the end, the vocals draw into a monotone and the song fades out of consciousness at the end, an ending that doesn’t feel like one.

Both “TV” and “Make You Better” are good examples of the band’s weakness, which is that the repetition and the general tone can get a bit overdone. The melody of “Make You Better” is powerful and hooky, but over 2:40 it loses that edge and goes on too long without bring anything new to the table, the repetition drowning a forward-moving melody. Likewise in “TV”, when it drifts into abyss after three and-a-half minutes, the record quietly end without recognition. A little more dynamic play would go a long ways. Still, Show Us Your Mind is a pleasing and generally enjoyable album more often than not.

7.0 / 10Loren
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7.0 / 10

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