In the dazzling but restrained intro to “Hit the Ground Running,” the first song in Patiently Awaiting the Meteorite’s new album Canyon Diablo, we listen to the unraveling of a synthesized melodic band that sounds so vivid and literal that it’s almost as if we could reach out and touch it. Dee, PATM’s lead vocalist, whispers the opening lyric like he’s telling us a secret we need to keep close before giving in to the gravity of the song’s chorus. “Hit the Ground Running” sets the tone for Canyon Diablo, but its successive track “Don’t Lay Your Fate” lays out the blueprint for its dominant occupation of our minds – which we soon experience in the blistering eight tracks that follow it so tastefully.
The fuzzy march of “Strange Intuition” changes the pace of the first couple of songs by injecting listeners with a sedating groove that spins around us like space rocks orbiting a deserted planet. It hovers in the atmosphere before clearing out for the pensive “Everything Under the Sun” and its partner in crime “Devil’s in My Car,” the latter of which adds an unexpected splash of low fidelity folk rock to Canyon Diablo. There’s no way to know what’s waiting around the corner for us when the clubby “Electrified” comes to life before our very ears, but becoming immersed in its sexy sway isn’t a difficult task in the slightest. Its garage rocking giddiness lashes us with a textured, bass-saturated whip, but for whatever masochistic reason its visceral swagger is hard to resist once it gets its hooks into us.
“Keeping My Head Above the Water” staggers through the dust left behind by “Electrified” like a weary traveler looking for a friendly face to break bread with, and it contributes perhaps the most vital element to Canyon Diablo’s success in its humble contrition and artsy construction. “All This Madness” lives up to its title and pummels us with the most bravado-laced balladry on the record, while the more confident “Hello Hello” relishes in a classic rock inspired volley between the singer and his robotically efficient backing band. All three players in Patiently Awaiting the Meteorite pull their weight on Canyon Diablo, and not once do we find ourselves listening to a group of artists trying to compete with one another for our undivided attention.
PATM’s debut record comes to a rhapsodic conclusion in the graceful tune “The Place,” which is one part hipster love song and another part contemplative folk retrospective. There’s plenty of old school charm to behold in Canyon Diablo, but this is an album that very much lives in the here and now, a product of the experimental times we live in and a direct result of the studious labor of its three performers, each of whom have unmatched skillsets that unite radiantly in this ten song juggernaut. Patiently Awaiting the Meteorite have produced a watershed record for the progressive genre in Canyon Diablo, but more importantly they’ve cemented themselves as the most extravagantly designed rock band of the 21stcentury.