Three albums into their career, Canterbury’s sound has almost come full circle. The initial impact of their new album ‘Dark Days’ has a similar feel to some of their older songs like ‘Set You Right’, only with a pronounced and more developed feel to it. Canterbury are instrumentally a lot heavier than they’re given credit for. It’s probably just Mike and Luke’s vocals that give the band their mainstream appeal. Off the back of that, ‘Keep It Moving’ is more ambient in its sound, but with just as much pace. By the third track, ‘All My Life’, it feels like the album’s ground to a halt.
After this initial slow down, there’s no saving ‘Dark Days’. For the next half an hour, the tempo is all over the place, and you can’t really settle into the album at all. ‘Satellite’ and ‘Think It Over’ are the only two songs that really stand out from the rest (apart from ‘Going Nowhere’, because it’s horrendous). ‘Think It Over’ is dancey like Canterbury should be, and it’s easily the best track on the album, as Mike and Luke harmonise as perfectly as they do in ‘Gloria’. The second half of the album really is just a wash of songs that differ so minutely, that it’s hard to tell where each one ends.
Honestly, it feels like Canterbury can’t decide whether they’d rather be a rock or a pop band, and as a result, flicker between the two from track to track, never quite hitting the grey ground in the middle. Certainly to the older Canterbury fans, the slightly heavier sound is more comfortable, as we hear on ‘Thank You’. It’s as if Canterbury are torn between pleasing these fans and those who joined the party after heavy in the day. Overall, ‘Dark Days’ is a fantastically uninspiring album, that’s not really going to please anyone. Yes we’ll admit it’s got a few bangers, but as an album it just doesn’t work.