The Full Nine (Mammoth)

These 12 tracks are not only impressive, they are a smoothly blended mixture of progressive edge, crafty melodies, and ethereal subtleties.

A few of you might already be familiar with the Canadian band the Full Nine from their February appearance at the Galaxy, when they opened for Moth. For everyone else reading this, don’t let the term “Canadian band” cause you to automatically assume that they sound just like Nickelback, Default, or the latest Canucks to top the American modern rock charts, Headstrong, who are all decent bands albeit difficult to distinguish from one another. If a Canadian comparison is necessary, it should probably be one of the original “pioneers” of Canadian modern rock, Our Lady Peace (minus the very unique vocals from OLP’s frontman Raine Maida).

The Full Nine’s story of how they came to be is not an uncommon one. Frustrated with the local cover band scene, the four Toronto members met after a series of twist-of-fate events and the instant chemistry was too strong to ignore. The songs began to practically write themselves, an A&R big-timer from a major label heard and loved them, and an impressive debut CD was born.

The 12 tracks on the Full Nine’s self-titled release are not only impressive; they are a smoothly blended mixture of progressive edge, crafty melodies, and ethereal subtleties. Citing influences such as Led Zeppelin and Radiohead, guitarist and principal songwriter Dave Dunlap could also probably be accused of listening to his fair share of Collective Soul, Stone Temple Pilots, and some of the glammier bands of the late ’70s and early ’80s.

The first single, “Not Over,” has yet to receive American radioplay, but is currently a huge hit on the Canadian charts. The list of strong songs on this disc heavily outweighs the weak, from the pop-psychedelia of “Flower” to the infectious groove of “Look at You” to the high-hummabilty of “Crawling.” The chunky “Worn So Thin” comes complete with a brief Eddie Van Halen-like guitar solo, and “Justify” utilizes some cool electronic effects.

The highly versatile lead vocalist Rob Langhans states in the band’s bio that he loves songs that he “can get into right away.” There certainly is no shortage of that caliber of songwriting on The Full Nine, and it’s quite likely that American fans of modern rock will soon become aware of that fact.

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