American metalcore/alternative metal band, Cane Hill, have released a stripped back EP called Kill the Sun via Rise Records.
The 4 piece, with 2 albums and 2 EPs under their belt formed in 2011. We have reviewed both albums so far and haven’t been blown away yet. Read our thoughts on Smile and Too Far Gone by following the links. Cane Hill are Elijah Witt on vocals with James Barnett on lead guitar. On bass it’s Ryan Henriquez and on drums it’s Devin Clark.
Let’s start by being up front and honest. I’m not a fan of Cane Hill. You might wonder why we bother reviewing a release from them then? Well, we at GBHBL love nothing more than being proved wrong and occasionally are. For example, the latest In Flames single, I, The Mask. I wrote that off long before pressing play due to the weak singles released prior to it. I was wrong as you can read here.
As for Kill the Sun though, this is the other case. The one were you are proved right. The one where you are reminded why they aren’t for you. There are 6 tracks to be disappointed in here. That equates to around 22 minutes of music. The whole EP is made up of diluted, morose ballads of sorts. Musically here they seem to be stuck between pop, country and grunge with the occasional bit of synth. It’s horrid.
The opener 86d – No Escort sums up the whole EP in its first few seconds. A little synth, echoed clean vocals and then a melodic guitar that I was sure was about to continue in to Sweet Home Alabama. The whole EP is cleanly sung and mostly acoustic save for the occasional guitar solo. These solos are the best part of the EP for me. There is a decent one in the opener and an even better one in Save Me.
I should point out that Cane Hill were going for stripped back here. They aimed to get a dark, melodic version of themselves out so Kill the Sun is not representative of them completely. The issue I have is that it is so bloody boring. So damn dull. If a heavier album existed with one of these songs on it, it would make sense. A whole EP of it though is just too much. Too watery and bland. As individual songs, there is a little merit, if you look hard enough for it of course . They have a dark, morose tone to them. A depressing sound that seems a little more grunge than anything else. Think Soundgarden or Nirvana Unplugged though I am stretching a bit there.
That might be great for some so I don’t doubt that this will have its fans but I am not one of them. As for the final song, Smoking Man, that can fuck off. The annoying background whistle throughout and last minute of screeching and feedback isn’t a song. I hate it and it added more sourness to an already sour taste.
Kill the Sun is boring with 6 similar sounding songs that lack any excitement whatsoever. This exists purely for the Cane Hill hardcore fan base who might like seeing the band “stripped back”. I wasn’t a big fan when they were fully clothed so this does very little for me. The only positives I have are the occasional nice melody and solo but that isn’t enough to get me through 22 minutes.
Still, check it out yourself and see how wrong or right I am. It is out now on all the usual streaming platforms. You can grab a copy from here. Check out, like, follow Cane Hill at their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages by fooling the links.
EP Review - Kill the Sun by Cane Hill (Rise Records)