Creature Canyon – Did You Want That
Creature Canyon hails from the Southern California area and first scored recognition from the local music community with their single “Life I Know”, but 2018 finds them primed to release their first EP collection Did You Want That and bring their distinctive brand of kinetic, melodic rock to a global audience.
The seven song collection highlights how well the trio work together – their two guitar attack from lead singer Austin Steele and Ryan Amyot leads the way, but drummer Kyle Victoria completes the trio with powerful drumming punctuating the band’s material with indelible stylishness and timing. They’ve honed their sound playing numerous concerts across the West Coast, particularly acts like alt rock icons Empire of the Sun, and Did You Want That testifies to the exponential growth they’ve enjoyed since their formation.
The EP’s evocative production serves its opener well. The guitar work on “Hot Streak” is laden with just the right amount of echo, always geared in a tasteful direction, and the riff has a nicely clipped quality adorned with discreet melodic touches. Steele’s vocals are clear, charismatic, and clearly radio ready, but his singing never panders – instead, his voice rings out with a piercing emotive edge never risking hysteria or bathos. Instead, he gets under the skin of the song and it brings listeners in from the outset. There’s some exceptional bass playing working alongside Victoria’s drumming and the rhythm section, as a whole, provides the song with a sturdy foundation. Their songwriting instincts are apparent in this track – “Hot Streak” scarcely runs over three minutes, but it feels like a complete and entertaining listening experience.
The band’s guitar sound remains largely the same on the EP’s second track “Take What You Want”, but they ramp the tempo up with this number and Victoria turns in memorable percussion work without ever becoming an omnipresent element in the mix. Instead,
Creature Canyon play as a band, no one element emphasized at the expense of others in the mix, and it makes for an even more satisfying listening experience. The melodic strengths of their songwriting come through much more strongly with this song than we hear in the opener and it makes for a pleasing change of gears. The EP’s title song “Did You Want That” has a much more nuanced arrangement than the aforementioned songs and the thoughtfulness apparent throughout the track couples the band’s melodic inclinations with just a hint of rock muscle. It brings added bite to the performance. The bass and drum interplay is, once again, a highlight, but Steele explores his vocal talents more fully here than before and his voice will linger in memory long after the song concludes.
“Hurricane” opens with a brief swell of feedback before the band segues into a mid-tempo jaunt and, arguably, boasts the finest chorus of the songs covered here. It’s impossible to not admire how adeptly Creature Canyon use guitars in their music – their rock chops are unquestionable and comfortably co-exist alongside their penchant for strong melodies. Creature Canyon are far from stereotypical rockers, eschewing the usual poses and bluster, and instead bring emotion and universality alike to a collection of clearly autobiographical material. For many fans of guitar-driven music, the implied question behind the EP’s title Did You Want That will be answered with a resounding yes.