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We love getting lost in fantasy. It’s a broad statement that might call for a few research studies, but a quick glance at the world today reveals an audience that loves immersive experiences. From the early viral campaigns of Batman Begins to the anticipation surrounding the upcoming Star Wars extension of Disney’s theme parks, fans are constantly searching for ways to become part of their favorite stories. While Black Canary’s first ever EP isn’t exactly a theme park, it does take the listener far away, scaling the tall currents of electronic synths and classic punk vocals, with a group of renegades on their way to spray-paint the neon suite at the top.
The EP takes you on a ride with thrilling switches in beat, with the brassy, nostalgic Siouxsie-esque lead vocals at the steering wheel. The band almost exists as the Gorillaz did: with a storyline that revolves around Black Canary herself, a supervigilante with a kick-ass rock band and a team of creative minds brewing the lyrics, music, and mix. Brenden Fletcher, who currently writes the comic series, teamed up with the likes of vocalist Michelle Bensimon (of Caveboy), Joseph Donovan (Recievers), and a team of songwriters that includes Daniel Ash, David J, Kevin Haskins and Peter Murphy.
Black Canary as a character is not new to comics, or even TV, for that matter. The character currently plays a major role in The CW’s Arrow, and her popularity in both incarnations on the show has brought in an even larger comic fanbase for the beloved blonde butt-kicker. Having served several roles in her lifespan as a character, Fletcher’s Dinah Lance is a woman on a journey to reinvent herself in the face of a dark past, but this often beaten-into-the-ground trope is radically different from the way that the rather messy New 52 stories attempted to tie it all together. For these reasons, Dinah’s involvement and leadership of a punk rock group on the gritty streets of her city fits directly into her plotline, woven expertly by Fletcher.
Meant to coincide with the release of the first volume, Black Canary’s EP is dreamy and haunting, dark and light — not unlike the heroine herself. Each song guides you through a different scene, opening with it’s strongest song (“Fish Out Of Water”, with a fast-paced, out of this world melody), simmering the listener down with an emotional confession (“Old World”), and speeding up unpredictably in “The Man With The X-Ray Eyes”.
But what makes the album special, certainly, is the sense of true immersion. The listener is plugged into the world of Black Canary and for these moments, the sarcastic siren is singing. There are a few other fan-made projects similar to the album, and they’re great, but having an actual EP in a somewhat official manner is what really brings you in. Mix that with the fact that the album itself is wildly enjoyable, and you’ve got yourself a decent ten minutes to listen to some good music.
For only $3.50, the EP is a steal. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to listen to your favorite superhero jam out with a nod to Metric and Sleater-Kinney, then this is the album for you. Pick up the first volume of the comic, while you’re at it.