London-based Canvas Wall launches new EP ‘Mannekind’ on local soil
With their self-launched 2012 debut album ‘Thinking out Loud’ Canvas Wall have since been supported by the Arts Council Malta this year leading to them recording a brand new EP, ‘Mannekind’.
Canvas Wall is a London-based Maltese success story comprising of Simon Dounis on guitars and vocals, Craig Rogerson on drums, Dean Zammit on guitars and backing vocals and the recent addition of Matteo Basile on bass. In replacing their bassist, the band retained their Mediterranean element with the Italian Basile.
The Malta Independent on Sunday were given the opportunity to listen in on the EP pre-release and after their launch on local sand at Funky Monkey on Manoel Island, it is easy to see the energy of their original music and spirit of the band pulling through both recorded and live.
Come And Get It
From the get go this song will have every listener pleasantly bobbing their head and almost dancing in their seat. Canvas Wall’s music, both from their debut album, and evidently by this track, is reminiscent of Kings of Leon and Biffy Clyro; when the former was good and the latter was still heard of. This song is a very listener friendly rock song which, although retaining the feel-good vibe that makes for mainstream radio, doesn’t compromise in staccato power. In fact, although the song has just finished, I still find myself feverishly tapping my foot and banging my head to my memory of the solid rhythm heard throughout the song.
Possibly as dirty a guitar sound as radio rock can be allowed balanced off nicely by and almost Fall Out Boy-esque verse and a calm, clean pre-chorus. There are so many elements and influences in this music that it will have any keen listener trying to pick out bands which this one reminds them off. I’m hearing some Radiohead and possibly even a more local sound too, which is understandable considering the music is still written by locals, in spite of their location change. The instrumental part sounds like something Quentin Tarantino would have in the background to a bar scene until the drums kick in loud and proud until the last chorus. Well done to the band for Chronic Agitator, considering my personal tastes, I have a feeling his will be my favourite off the EP.
I’m hearing some Paramore here, it’s just such a good collection of sounds which you can play at a BBQ or in the car on a sunny Sunday drive while trying to impress your relatively new girlfriend with your knowledge of music she probably hasn’t heard yet. But do it fast, with this sound, she might be one of the band’s growing audience considering I can’t understand why their music hasn’t taken over local airwaves yet. This song is a very ambient sounding song with clean guitars and background reverb with an almost hypnotic bridge. If this band has figured something out, it’s dynamics going up and down to colour their sound.
I hope the song doesn’t evoke the emotions brought on by the mere mention of the week’s worst day. Although it started off with a tinge of panic, the happy high guitar notes lull you into a false sense of security before the lyrics talk about not knowing what’s going on. Sounds like a regular Monday to me. It’s actually a rather sweet song if you listen closely talking about not needing to do anything in particular to enjoy your time with someone. Rather than inspiring the Monday drek, it has inspired a pantomime “aaaawwww” in my head.
Perhaps anticipation for Tuesday? This song speaks to every awkward moment of infatuation every person with a pulse has one day had in their life. Of seeing an attractive stranger who is seemingly into you but frustratingly, nobody actually comes out and says anything. This is what a modern ‘love’ song should be like, not of roses and hyperbolic expressions of never ending love in adverse weather in November, but of randomly encountering someone who just rocks your world. This song shows that the band has a little more depth than some of the songs we are subject to listening to over and over again on the airwaves. Apart from releasing music and being ever present on social media and YouTube, Canvas Wall has been extensively gigging all over. Apart from hosting their own shows on the island, the have repeated performances at the Farsons Beer Festival and Rock The South. When it comes to London, they have played at renowned venues such as the 100 Club, the O2 Academy Islington and the Troubadour. The band has also gone as far as touring in Finland. This EP in particular was produced by Matt Lawrence, who might sound familiar to music enthusiasts considering his is a Grammy Award winner who produced the likes of Mumford and Sons, Blur, Naughty Boy and The Vaccines. The EP’s production value does speak for itself reflecting the whole concept of colour in life, which is what the band insists the EP is all about. As the band puts it: “’Mannekind’ (pronounced ‘mankind’) refers to exactly that, all of us! The spelling is a tip of the hat at ‘mannequin’ which is where the whole concept of Mannekind started. This EP is all about colour in life. It’s about how everyone starts out the same, but experiences change us, develop us...colour us differently!” Yesterday’s launch marked the online release of the album before the band is off to play a string of shows in the UK with further long-term plans of gigging throughout Europe in 2017. If you missed the launch, the band will definitely be back home to entertain in the future. Their website is www.canvaswall.com where one can find music including their 2012 album and the EP, merchandise and tour dates.