It’s difficult today to be the first of anything, but Cannomen appear to be perfectly alright with regurgitating the sound pioneered by past punk gods. The band’s recent release of an EP officially titled Black Hole (though the cover reads “Science Studies the Black Hole”) is a four-track 45 of punk nostalgia from format to lyrical content. So in this case, disregard for the avant-garde is forgiven, if not preferable, because of an old familiar energy ripping through it that never seems to quit.
As professed in the opening track “Black Hole,” Cannomen are the kings of decay and they go for the throat with four fast stories of head cases, sleeping all day, throwing up in driveways and the occasional murder-by-shovel. Though the songs are blazing with an almost palpable angst, there’s not one that’s bitter. They all manage to maintain a grim sense of humor throughout, as “I killed her with a shovel/burying her corpse was no trouble” might suggest.
Even when the lyrics fade into the abstract and the meaning is lost on the listener, they’re always brought back by lines with an unexplainable charm like “I can’t be your spiritual deceiver/cause I believe in science baby” in “Palm Reader.” And it’s hard not to fall in love with a song with some well-placed whistling parts, as found in title track “Black Hole,” which is probably the highlight of the album with an inviting prompt to lose control.
The album goes fast; true to typical punk rock form, each track is short and sweet, all clocking in under 2 1/2 minutes. Every jarring instrumental clash is there, and with time the band will probably begin to probe deeper with its lyricism. It feels like Black Hole is just a teaser for more gritty party music to come. For those who are missing the days when punk was first on the rise, or just like it loud and fast, get your fix.