CD Review: The Cranston Foundation – Communicate
By Francesco Emmanuel - 10/30/2006 - 12:13 PM EST
Artist: The Cranston Foundation
The Cranston Foundation is a tight 5-piece unit, whose music has such solid groove that one gets into their vibe instantly. The band’s latest is entitled ‘Communicate’, a very fitting title for their style of music that they’re delivering, a message of social consciousness to the general public.
Band members Jeremy Dow (bass), Jack Abad (drums), Amos Bradley (guitar), Alex Black (vocals) and Rick Polson (MC) do an excellent job of mixing their own brew of rock/reggae, with elements of punk, funk, hip-hop and ska. It really does kick some heads around.
The album melds all these different genres of music together very subtly. At times the songs are in your face, but other times, the beat comes on thick and heavy, keeping it all together. It is produced by multi-Juno award winning and Grammy-nominated producer Brandon Friesen of Studio 11 Inc.
‘Movement Revolution’ gets the album going with distorted octave guitar riffs in E flat, running up the fretboard, there’s some reverb on the singer’s voice, who resembles a prophet on this song, preaching from a street corner, laying out the facts plain and simple.
Check out the groove on ‘Day by Day’ coupled with its thin, fender-like guitar tones, the adrenaline rush and the feel of energy here is unmistakable.
‘Take Charge’ is another solid song with such a powerful chorus, before each one the MC chants some lines and I swear, it reminds me of a singer known only as H, from Bad Brains fame (the quintessential punk/reggae band)
‘Elevate’ is a medium-paced reggae number, but the chorus just rips out at you. At times both singers have a 311/Incubus feel to them, but their tone is all-original, no imitators here. Their voices blend very well together, and at no time does either vocalist over-crowd each other.
‘Loose Cannon’ has a tension that builds from the word go, a verse that bleeds in a punk vein, but the chorus cuts the groove in half, layered with a great melody hook, totally catching you off guard, this is one great song, building in orchestration and arrangement after each chorus. Couldn’t help but play this song about ten times over.
To date the Cranston Foundation has performed at the Kokanee Summit in Creston, BC, and the Vans Warped Tour. They’ve been showcased on the nationally syndicated ‘Budweiser Radio’.
The band won West 49 and Much Music’s February battle of the bands and are on regular rotation on Sirius Radio and XM radio. They have opened for I Mother earth, Default, Treble Charger and Swollen Members just to name a few.
The band also donates time to such worthy causes as Rock against Racism, Rock for a Cause and the World Trade Centre Relief Benefit.
If you’re looking for a band that you may not have heard before, that has something fresh and true to offer, then I strongly suggest checking out The Cranston Foundation.
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