Norwegian power trio Kanaan have laid some pretty impressive groundwork since their El Paraiso Records debut Windborne at the end of 2018. That album showed some serious musical chops from the young-ish three-piece, coming together with a sound that was both heavy and nuanced. Prog vibes combined with 70s art rock and a healthy dose of fusion complexity made for one hell of a debut with the Danish label.
The band played gigs(recording some of them) and released a collaborative album with El Paraiso honcho and Causa Sui guitarist Jonas Munk, as well as releasing a proper follow-up in the heavier Krautrock inspired Double Sun.
The boys survived 2020 intact and have emerged on a new label with a brand new album. Earthbound is 8 tracks of superpowered fuzz, bombastic drums, and bone-crushing bass. Kanaan have traded in the amps that went to 11 and have gone for the ones that go to 20. This is Kanaan pretty much leaving scorched earth in their wake.
The sound on Earthbound is what I’d call crunchy. The guitars sound deep-fried in molten metal. “Return To The Tundrasphere” is an explosion of fuzz and stoner rock as if it emerged from a cloud of diesel and sand straight from Joshua Tree. The pummeling riff and Tony Williams-meets-John Bonham drum swagger is reminiscent of big brothers Causa Sui, with a touch of psychedelic brush strokes. At nearly 9 minutes this one takes you through the stratosphere. “Pink Riff” doesn’t relent with a wall of feedback before locking into a killer groove that would make QOTSA bow in admiration.
There are some moments of quiet and reflection with opener “Prelude” and the subtle “Mirage”, but if you’re looking for nuanced and dreamy tracks “Bourdon”, “Mudbound” and album closer “No Star Left Unturned” will not be lulling anybody to sleep. These are full-throttled sonic blasts of fuzzed-out riffs and a rhythm section that never relents.
Earthbound is Kanaan exploring their heavier side to stunning effect. Combining 60s garage and psych vibes with finesse and that musical prowess that made Windborne such a jaw-dropping debut, Earthbound is a heavy and densely-layered rock album.
7.7 out of 10
‘Earthbound’ is available now via Jansen Records. Buy it here.