Menu | Rating System | Guest Book | Archived Reviews:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


FM Arcade


The Canon Logic


Lights/Camera/Wolfgang (self-released)

Release Date:


Reviewed by:

The Canon Logic are a very competent pop act from New York. I like competent pop music, but the thing is, they are a piano-based competent pop band, not a guitar-based competent pop band. I know that the choice of main melody instrument seems like a minor choice, but it's not. There is a world of difference between piano pop and guitar pop. That is why this promo has lingered on my to-review list for a long time.

The Smiths are a guitar pop band, while Ben Folds Five is a piano pop act. The Beatles are classic guitar pop, while Elton John is classic piano pop. The guitar pop groups I mentioned are among my favorites, while the piano pop bands are acts that I will avoid if i can. However, anyone who has read this site knows that i love keyboard pop and synth pop. The difference has to do with the nature of the piano, i think. Personally i believe that instrument lends itself to stately noodling, like in jazz, classical, or post-rock. Keyboards are normally played with long, lingering notes. On the other hand, Ben Folds and his ilk play the piano in a fast, staccato manner. I find that jarring. Give me Keith Jarrett’s meandering playing over Ben Folds’ hammering on his keys any time...

To be completely honest, that style of piano playing irks me. It seems cheesy in a way that i cannot put into words. I think it might have something to do with the fact that my father played Elton John's greatest hits tapes far too many time during cross country drives when i was younger. I was over-exposed to that style of piano pop, and guess that i am still slightly scarred by it.

So, FM Avenue gave me a bit of trepidation in reviewing this record. However, the music is amazingly catchy, and in fact once i start listening to the record i can get kind of swept up in it, and suppressed memories of old Elton John tunes fade into the background, for the most part.

So, if you dislike piano pop, you still might want to give The Canon Logic a chance. They do this really well, better than anyone else that i have heard. Granted, if i see a piano in a band, i tend to avoid it, but still there are some really brilliant songs here.

Album open Villain in America sets the pace right, with two layers of guitar whirring against each other, then the vocalist comes in with the piano. It moves along at a crisp pace, with catchy head-bopping rhythms. Avenue of Criminals carries along the general catchiness, and even takes it up a notch on the chorus, which is really sing-alongish and features fast drumming. This is a great one-two punch to start off their debut album, and they are definitely the bands two strongest tunes.

Nights at Armour Mansion takes the band's sound in a different direction, channeling a dark 1980s pop that reminds me of Mr. Mister, or perhaps The Hooters. You don't hear a lot of acts influenced by those two 80s acts. I wonder why? Dark Maid has a similar vibe, with thudding rhythms, organ drone, and chugging guitar.

The Canon Logic get silly on Amy is a Wolverine, which is a lighter, more folkish tune. Delia is another high point, where the sheer catchiness reaches a crescendo. At the chorus, the guitars swell up with a type of distortion that reminds me of mid-era Styx, and the vocal harmonies in the backing vocals get really lovely. When The Canon Logic are on, they create some really lovely stuff.

One thing to note is that the voice is recorded very clearly and layered in front of all the instruments. The vocalist has a slightly nasally voice, and the backing vocals tend to sound shouted. All of the music is in a standard time signature (they aren't doing waltzes), but they do it well. The Canon Logic are not re-inventing anything, but i bet they are a lot of fun in concert. Once i worked my way past my trepidation at the use of piano chording, this is a pretty good record.

Related Links:



Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Album Review menu.