Homebrew | MUSIC: Homebrew | Indy Week


Extended-Player-Creme-de-la-Créme Syndrome: An unfortunate disorder in which a young band spends an inordinate amount of time writing, rehearsing and recording new material only to release a short but spirited EP with loads of promise never fulfilled by the follow-up drag of an LP. Perhaps you're familiar with it through Kings of Leon and Vue, two recent cases who fell into the trap by way of their major label debuts in the past two years.

On that note, here's to Can Joann, the shakin' quartet from Chapel Hill whose The Aiden Grace EP pops open-and-shut as one of the most enjoyable 17 minutes in recent local pop memory. Not unlike The Rosebuds, Can Joann crafts smart, sticky, hook-heavy rock with consistent rhythmic simplicity and spare, effective guitar lines that speak to vinyl collections chock full of The Beatles, The Kinks and Paul Revere. These songs break the 180-second barrier, though, giving them a complexity beyond verse-chorus-verse pep. Can Joann sets itself apart with meticulous bridges, too, establishing a structure more suited for The Smiths (see "Old and Grey") and Franz Ferdinand (see "Banner Year") comparisons.

There's an open-road abandon and ebullience here, separating these Hill lads from certain stiffs across the pond. An open-road, distinctly American feel shines through during sing-alongs like "Lady Luck" and "Banner Year." If this bright four-song gem doesn't have a case of EPCCS (fancy, I know), we've got a keeper.

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