It’s misleading; The Canadians are not from Canada at all. Nor do they come from the continent, despite the American college radio glaze that sweetens the album. No, the sunny 5-piece hail from Verona, Italy.
It is clear from the outset which bands The Canadians hold close to their heart. The warm vocals are resonant of Rivers Cuomo inflected with a thickened European accent from the singer Duccio Simbeni. A river of 90’s pop-rock runs concurrent with the sugary vocals and a diffusion of dreamy synth adds to sensible pop sound.
History dictates that bands of this kind are usually great hits or bad misses. Potentially, ‘A sky without stars’ could be an album of simple genius, with songs that fulfil the heart and mind, with infectiously memorable hooks.
It could be the right time for them too, as Weezer are set to release their new album. However, the album just doesn’t cut the mustard. A constant flow of identical tempos and cookie-cutter chord patterns drenched in warm fuzz adds to an overall sense of anonymity.
Where Weezer and Nada Surf cut through the air waves with their geeky, vulnerable, but heartfelt melodies, The Canadians power is diluted by their lack of memorable tunes or dynamical diversity.
There are one or two sparkling gems that sparkle. ‘Summer teenage girl’ is a 60’s inspired Beach Boys-esque slice of pop, infused with waves of distortion and ‘ohh la la’ chorus lines to heighten the nostalgia.
‘Ode to the season’ is The Canadians at their most powerful and passionate; a shame they didn’t inject this harder edge in other places.
Elsewhere, the album just provides a slew of harmless fluff, which is forgotten the moment it ends.
With the summer upon us, this album might provide a soundtrack for those who adore the quirkiness of early 90’s geek-rock, but The Canadians really don’t come within a sniff of the genius produced by those bands.