More than grunge
The members of The Kanes describe themselves as “grunge nouveau,” and while the Nirvana influence is especially evident in some of their songs, such as “I Know,” what they have to offer listeners is a more varied bouquet of styles than what Cobain et al had to offer. Singer, guitarist and songwriter Greg Gilmore, 20, claims ’60s pop rock as a big influence to his music, but bands like the Killers have also inspired him. But when it comes to the final product, Gilmore explains that their music is more of a collaborative project.
Bassist Adam Landis claims Grizzly Bear, Wild Beasts and Radiohead as sources of inspiration, but he delivers solid bass lines reminiscent of classic rock standards. Drummer Mick Moore, however, gets lost in a cymbal-sustaining haze that quickly conjures up images of Dave Grohl behind the skins.
Moore, a former member of Hopscotch Whiskey, describes their sound as similar to a contemporary Led Zeppelin, but even this description falls short. Performing in the 505 Studio, their recording label, The Kanes quickly fill up the small space with a barrage of sounds paint hues in the colors of the Kinks and Redd Kross. Longhaired, small-of-stature Gilmore, lips glued to the mic, screams vocals over gritty yet articulate guitar licks. Reserved in appearance, Landis combines attentive bottom end while Moore interjects hair-blowing hits from the kick drum and quick, hammering fills on the toms.
Their sound simply cannot be narrowed down to a grunge sound, and this is exactly what Gilmore and crew are going for.
“We don’t play to sound like anyone,” says Landis. “We just want to have our own sound.”
Gilmore has a very laissez-faire attitude toward songwriting. “I don’t want to tell anyone what to do. I want them to inject their own style, so I give them a lot of freedom.”
“I am more free in this band than any other previous project,” says Moore.
The Kanes have a full-length album titled Welcome to the Renaissance, which, though recorded with a different rhythm section, does an excellent job capturing their range.
“It took me a year to figure out what these songs were about,” says Gilmore, “but there is a deeper meaning. It’s about how what the masses believe is true is what becomes true.” This sums up the philosophy behind the songs. The album is both a critique of group-think and a suggestion to reexamine reality, but at its core, it offers track after track of angst-filled rock ’n’ roll, with rolling background vocals and excellent tempo changes.
The Kanes believe music should evolve and change as the musician does. “When you’re younger, you like ‘Please Please Me,’ but when you get older maybe you like ‘Magical Mystery Tour,’” says Gilmore, “We’re three individuals getting older.”
Right now, The Kanes are focused on what Gilmore calls “the agenda”: namely, to become a household name in Reno. To accomplish this, they plan to perform regularly, once they get a few more weeks of practice under their belt, since Landis and Moore have only been working with Gilmore for about four months.
Welcome to the Renaissance is available at Recycled Records, as well as iTunes. On Christmas day, they plan to release a new single, which will only be available online. But any fan of the energy and electricity of rock ’n’ roll would be best advised to see The Kanes perform live.
“Sometimes we don’t know what to expect,” says Gilmore, “and sometimes our expectations are wildly surpassed.”