Now, with Morisse joined by Riley Jantzen (ex-Mayola), Tyler Hopkins (The Nghiems) and Kurt Freudenberger (The Pretty Black Chains), a much louder Black Canyon comes across more like an Oklahoma-bred Gaslight Anthem. It’s a whiskey-chugging, cow-tipping rock record that wears its heart on its tattoo sleeve, and it’s a damn good one at that.
Morisse’s voice is an impassioned hoot and holler that perfectly suits the cowpunk fare of “I Had a Long Day at Work” and opener “Heap of Trouble.” Bar anthems “Degenerate” and “Weary Hands” do The Hold Steady proud, while tattered love ballad “Breaking in a Brand New Broken Heart” sees Black Canyon still more than capable of more delicate work.
Recorded at Blackwatch Studios, Black Canyon is a clear statement piece on what this band is and wants to do. While it may have taken some time for Black Canyon to find itself, it doesn’t take more than one listen to realize this is the one that was always meant to be.