By Justin Cook, The Music Cycle
Caninus is one of the oddest bands out there and chances are you’ve never heard of the band. They classify themselves as a grindcore band. Grindcore is a genre where most of the ‘vocalists’ growl or shriek as if they’re some sort of animal. Caninus is a band that skips this poseur accusation by making the vocalists actual animals.
The vocals on Caninus’ releases are provided by two pitbulls named Budgie and Basil. Unfortunately Basil recently was put to sleep due to a brain tumor. The band will be releasing their final album in dedication to him. As far as I am aware, Caninus is the first act to incorporate dogs as official members of the band. This leaves a lot of questions, such as is this a victory for animal rights? Perhaps it is a case of animal exploitation? Either way, the band’s official website says that both dogs were rescued from euthanization by the band.
Caninus have three official releases, one full studio effort entitled Now The Animals Have A Voice, and two split albums. Most of Caninus’ songs are less than a minute long, and many are under ten seconds in length. Although the band is most often referred to as a side project of Most Precious Blood‘s Justin Brannan, Caninus’ sound is certainly more unique. In the band’s publicity photos, the human members wear bandannas and such to cover their faces, letting the dogs take center stage.
In an interview with MTV, Caninus claimed to preach a message of, “Animal rights, vegetarianism, veganism, and trying to spread the word about adopting homeless animals.” It’s up to the listener to decide if these messages are clear, but it’s hard to take the band seriously. The music world’s fully of strange things, but besides Caninus, there’s another metal band whose vocals are done by a parrot. Will the next generation of rock stars be animals? Not likely. In the end, it’s hard to look at Caninus, and other animal fronted bands, as little more than a novelty act.