If you haven’t seen Kan-Tis play a live show in the Fort you might be hard-pressed to describe the band after listening to their self-titled CD. The nature of their music is multi-dimensional and definitely difficult to pigeonhole. If you have seen Kan-Tis play a show recently, you might have an even harder time describing the band. Hitting the stage in superhero costumes and working the crowd into a frenzy is just one of Kan-Tis’ calling cards. Even spelling their name properly often becomes a lesson in linguistics. Such is the nature of Kan-Tis.
The band describes itself as “happy hardcore, and judging by the amount of laughing throughout the band’s first proper full-length album this may be as accurate a description of Kan-Tis as we could hope. Kan-Tis the album boasts no less than 18 tracks. Among them are long-time crowd favorites and standout tracks “Whitedancefantastic,” “Fish Lips,” “ C.O.Y.M.F.” and “TKO.” These songs make for a great morning wake-up routine and are more caffeinated than your average Starbucks Mocha.
Other standout tracks include “Hot Carl,” the chugging “Happy Time,” “Russell Song” (which features a cool Girls Against Boys House of GVSB vibe) and “Metal Song,” which, ironically, isn’t the most metal song on the album.
Vocalist Scummy most often sounds like Snot’s Lynn Strait but throws some Cookie Monster vocals in from time to time for good measure. Scummy’s bass playing reminds you mostly of Les Claypool, while guitarist Russell emotes a variety of influences ranging from metal to punk to hardcore to jazz. Turbo wraps things up nicely on drums by managing to maintain some sort of order in the otherwise rabid and demented music contained on this CD.
So how do you describe Kan-Tis? I’m still not sure, but I can take a guess as to the recipe. Take 75 percent Primus, 50 percent Saturday morning Cartoons, 37 percent Snot and 25 percent any original NYHC band (Bad Brains and Agnostic Front come to mind) and mix them up in a bowl. Add a touch of old school thrash and mix it up. Let sit in a bowl on your countertop for about three months. That’s 187 percent pure frenetic goodness. That’s Kan-Tis.