Cancel Winter CD Review

Well it’s been a while since I wrote a CD review. Mainly because most of the discs I get don’t blow me away and I really don’t want to discourage a band because they don’t sound good on record. It’s hard to sit down and listen to an entire record if you’re not motivated to do so. I’ve seen great acts live, but when I go and buy their CD and listen to it at home, I get disappointed. It’s a really tough challenge to display the raw energy and passion on stage into 12 tracks of a CD. But when I received Cancel Winter’s EP titled “Liestillnow,” I actually stayed and listened to the entire album without getting up and leaving halfway to get a coffee.

To be honest, I don’t know much about this band. I tried searching for a brief bio to put in as a little filler in between the review and the intro, but I couldn’t find a single thing. I haven’t seen these guys live, nor have I ever heard of their music prior to them contacting me. So with this lack of information, this paragraph is just full of nothingness and possibly full of crap. The only thing I can tell you is that they’re based from the self-proclaimed center of the Universe (Toronto, ON). Cancel Winter includes the multi-talented Nate Kreiswirth on vocals, guitar, synths, and keys, Adam King on the drums, Martyn Skrzypczyk (I have no idea how you pronounce that…) on guitar and vocals, Chris Stevens on the bass, and Eric Schwindt on keys and vocals. Now with all the introductions out of the way and all of the filler crap as well, let’s get to their album!

At first glance, the packaging for “Liestillnow” seemed pretty simple. On the back are track titles and I honestly thought that I would be listening to a short 6 song EP. Boy was I wrong. As soon as I popped it into my laptop, Itunes showed me a nice full 12 track album. I looked at the back once again and realized the little optical illusion these boys had in their packaging. The song titles were nicely placed in two rows, with one row having a black font and the second having white font. It’s crazy what kids come up with these days eh!

The disc starts off with “Waking Up,” a very expressive track that showcases Nate’s vocal range and tone. This is followed up with “Starting Block,” a track that begins with a very catchy melodic xylophone introduction. “The Silence” is probably one of their most radio friendly tracks, and it reminds me of something The Arcade Fire would produce. “How Long” generates some memorable harmonies, while “Change” is nice change from the rest of the album. If I was to compare it to anything, I would say that it’s a Beatles meets Indie rock track that actually seems to work. “The Stars” is as electronic as it can get, with a great intro and a weird sounding bridge filled with sounds from nature (?). “The Enemy” is lyrically pleasing and melodically appealing, with lines like “It’s amazing how you’ll act when empty bottles lead the way/ Guilt and anvil hanging over, to afraid to face the day.” “Stop The Lies” is reminiscent of a great Canadian band by the name of Wintersleep, while “Missing” sounds an awfully lot like Elliott Smith. “Modern Machine” then kicks it up a notch and provides that necessary energy boost that will lead you to finish the album. “1000 Nights” is for me the last song of the CD, as every time I tried playing “Far Gone,” the supposedly last track of “Liestillnow” my computer freezes up.

Overall, aside from the whole computer crash (OK maybe it’s not a computer crash, but doesn’t it sound much cooler if I say it like that?) the album is a success. It’s an Indie writers dream to listen to a well packaged, well produced album that is not only thought provoking, but is melodic and energetic enough to keep you up and finish the entire album.