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Empty Rooms comes like an oasis in the desert for Canyon. Their last effort, an Insound Tour Support EP, was a lackluster collection of countrified slowcore songs as carelessly created as they were largely received. This album finds the five-piece creating a wonderful, high-fidelity recording of ten psych-rock gems. The opening "Sleepwalker" sweeps singer John Wall's vocals with a A Storm in Heaven-era Verve flange while sparse but effective drumming recalls that of Mimi Parker in Low. The same magic comes on "Mansion on the Mountain" and "Head Above." Tracks like "Ten Good Eyes" and "Radio Driver" slip from this reverby trip to recall the band's more Neil Young-influenced beginnings. It's hard to tell on songs like these which is greater: the desire to emulate that broken-down Springsteen sound or to repaint an indie sound with homemade color. When these two elements are surmounted, as on the organ-drenched "Lights of Town," Canyon escapes the gravity of its influences, instruments, and collective past to become a truly great band. That said, Empty Rooms is not the best these D.C. rockers have in them. Look forward to the next one from Canyon. It might just be great.