Old Canes

Feral Harmonic

by Matthew Fiander

16 December 2009

cover art

Old Canes

Feral Harmonic

(Saddle Creek)
US: 20 Oct 2009
UK: 20 Oct 2009

With Old Canes, Christopher Crisci sounds happy to get away from the stately expanse of his other band, the Appleseed Cast. That energy soaks everything on Feral Harmonic and results in a full-blooded, sweating sound. Of course, Crisci doesn’t move to anything stripped-down here, but the big sounds he makes clatter rather than roll. They’re coated in burrs and rough edges. Cymbals, horns, and keys mesh together into rocky walls for his voice to bounce off of and, occasionally, crack through.

The best stuff here—“Little Bird Courage”, “Trust”, and “Under”—shows the simple song imbedded in that crashing and lets its melody and feeling come through. These songs come alive when you get the jangle of his acoustic guitar and the train-drive of the snare work. Since Crisci recorded much of this alone, you can feel the need for another ear: As the album moves on, the clatter takes over, and the songs that sound so vital up front start to get lost in the storm. Feral Harmonic is a solid sound, and a nice shift for Crisci’s instrumental talents, but as the songs slip away, as that energy moves from focus to, yes, feral, you might find yourself getting lost, too.

Feral Harmonic


We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.

//Mixed media


Fave Five: Mike Scott of the Waterboys on Keith Richards

// Sound Affects

"The Waterboys ambitious new double-album culls a lot of inspirations, but Mike Scott is happy to expound upon one of the key ones: Keith Richards and his most badass moments.

READ the article