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Get Out Alive: The Last Type Story

The Speaking Canaries

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Album Review

The Speaking Canaries really nail their Van Halen-goes-math rock sound on Get Out Alive: The Last Type Story. There are only nine songs here, including three instrumentals and a bonus number that starts about six minutes into the final track. But the album strikes a nice balance between pop accessibility and indie rock abrasiveness, and the songs are generally melodic and well constructed (the band also created a limited-edition, mail-order-only CD-R with longer versions of some songs for those who want more excess). Speaking Canaries have developed the knack for pretty melodies, slow interludes, and false stops, as well as sputtering guitar noise that keeps things from getting too soft, and they know how to put falsetto singing, shouts, and David Lee Roth-style yelps in all the right places. And while the songs don't have the theatrical flair of Van Halen at their best, they also don't have the dull shapelessness of indie instrumental and noise rock at its worst; they hold up relatively well overall, and "Menopause Diaries" ranks as one of the best indie rock numbers of the year.

Biography

Formed: Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Speaking Canaries are from Pittsburgh, but after hearing their music, it wouldn't be implausible if someone told you they came from Mars. The band is essentially the twisted vision of guitarist/singer/UFO expert Damon Che, who can also be found playing drums at times in the group Don Caballero. Bassist Karl Hendricks and drummer Noah Leger join Che, and they fill up quite a lot of space for just a trio. Although the group has been well documented as a bunch of Van Halen aficionados, they are...
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Get Out Alive: The Last Type Story, The Speaking Canaries
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