The Schmooze

The Arty Semite Record Review: Can!!Can's 'Monsters & Healers'

Near the end of “Giants,” the opening track of Can!!Can’s debut album “Monsters & Healers,” vocalist Patrick Aleph mutters, “This is never gonna end, this is never gonna end.” The sentiment is more musical than thematic. Like the bands that Can!!Can crib their sound from (denizens of a post-Sonic Youth world where the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were once the biggest act ever), the instrumentals drive forward in some kind of scuzzy locomotion. The tracks feel short and taut, and by the time the lyrics have been established — like in the crunchy “God Lives in NYC” — guitarist Mary Collins has already fully explored the musical codes of that particular song.

JDub Records, which is best known for promoting explicitly Jewish acts like The Sway Machinery, Golem, and Gangsta Rabbi, is pegging Can!!Can as another Jewish outfit, even if it takes some digging to get to its Yiddishe heart. On “God Lives in NYC,” in between Andy Falkousesque howls (you can’t have a better pedigree than the McLusky/Future of the Left singer), Aleph sings “HaShem brings a beautiful light / Bottled up when the city’s alive.” But these Jewish moments are rare, as if any kind of “beautiful light” needs to be bottled up and can only slip through occasionally.

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The Arty Semite Record Review: Can!!Can's 'Monsters & Healers'

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