On their Facebook page bio, Brooklyn three-piece The Can’t Tells use the word “scrappy” to describe themselves. When you listen to “No Television,” the spiky title-track to their just-released full-length, it’s hard to deny them the adjective.
The band of self-described “music geeks” formed in Boston when guitarist Blaze McKenzie and bassist Michael DiSanto met in a class at the Berklee College of Music. Drummer Jonathan Smith was DiSanto’s roommate and they recruited him into the nascent band. The trio eventually made their way to Brooklyn, gigged in earnest, and earned a reputation as a dynamite live act.
They bring the energy of a live band and the sonic athleticism befitting former music students on their new record. It oscillates between booming shoe-gaze and the peppy pop-punk of “No Television.” And by “pop-punk,” I don’t mean the sticky bubble-gummy stuff from the last couple of decades. With its sharp, jagged edges and delicate balance of hope and darkness, it’s more in the the Buzzcocks-slash-Wire school of punk-flavored pop. The drums crash, and the bass is big and buzzy, and the guitars alternatively storm and stab like shards of glass. “No Television” is the sound of a young band with plenty o’ fight in ’em.