BACK FOR THEIR PEOPLE Kanerko.
2011 will go down as a decisive comeback for hard-rock quartet Kanerko, who are set to release their new EP Delusions of Grandeur at the Met on Friday. Kanerko's renowned live show provides enough reason to hit the Bucket, but add on a State of Corruption reunion (!) and this is one bad-ass double-dip not to be missed. Fans of influential kin like Sevendust and Avenged Sevenfold will surely dig Kanerko's latest.
Kanerko temporarily closed up shop less than one year after their '08 debut, Showtime ($5 at kanerko.com), citing major burnout after four years of plugging away and touring the East Coast. It was just over a year ago when I caught the foursome's official return to action at Firehouse 13, and bassist Kevin Marszalek clearly wasn't kidding when he told me to expect a "more evolved, angrier Kanerko this time around." That night, frontman Al Diaz (aka Mahoney) flooded the room with energy and charisma, flexing his vocal range (and eventually singing from the rafters) while his mates tore through standout Showtime cuts like "Choke" and "Es Mi Culpa," along with new material which would eventually land on the new EP.
Recorded with regional metalhead vet Pete Rutcho at Damage Studios, Delusions is a crisp and roaring return, and well worth the wait. The updated versions of "Tears Falling On the Glass" and the sludgy six-minute gem "The Uninvited Get to Stay" sound razor-sharp here, as does the chugging first single and EP opener, "Silent Struggle," with Diaz saluting his dad, a Columbian immigrant.
"It's a homage to my father, the internal struggle he had, the depression and failure he felt when he couldn't give us the ideal life, but he never let that show," Diaz said.
Kanerko's cover of the Allman Brothers Band's "Whipping Post" also made the final cut, with guitarist Anthony Palumbo shredding some serious blues licks. The acoustic keeper "Sleep" (a Spanish version, "Sueno," also appears) is followed by "The Uninvited Get to Stay," which fully captures the recharged quartet. And let it be known that Kanerko drummer Nick Iddon is an absolute beast behind the kit across the EP (dude can't be more than 110 lbs. soaking wet), with rumbling, rapid-fire snare fills.
On the standout track "Cheer Up (We're All Gonna Die)," Diaz spouts, "Fake-ass smiles, high fives all around celebrate carbon copy sounds."
"It's a big 'fuck you' to everyone playing the same regurgitated shit," Marszalek told me earlier this week when we caught up over beers.
"It is a song about frustration," added Diaz. "There's a lot of talent out here to be heard and maybe it's a reflection of the economy, but people need to get out and see a band."
And why the EP format? Palumbo said via email: "In our case, it's about the cost, not a lack of material. Professional recording is expensive."
Who needs Kickstarter when you can raise funds via a birthday bowling party? Band manager Nate Franklin recently lined up a day out with Kanerko at a Cranston alley to raise funds for the new EP and to celebrate Diaz's big day with friends, fans, and family.