Colony House, the multi-talented alt-rockers from Franklin, Tennessee, have released a new album The Cannonballers, a follow up to their last studio album Leave What’s Lost Behind (2020). The result is an album of self-described “landlocked surf rock” (which is also the title of the opening track), and while that description holds for some of the music here, Colony House is much more than that.
The two opening tracks are, indeed, “landlocked surf rock”—scruffy guitar-driven rock with punchy, anthemic choruses that will surely have live audiences bouncing. Early single “Would Ya, Could Ya” is one, even if for a moment it drops into a U2 song. Title track “Cannonballers” is where the album really shows what Colony House is capable of—combining a guitar rhythm that sounds like something from a heist movie that builds into something resembling the best vibey peaks of a Twenty-One Pilots song.
The next two tracks maintain the same energy until “Everything,” which while still big and epic, is much more of a slowed-down love ballad while “Don’t I Know You” is a solid, straight-ahead alt-rock jam that takes the cliched pick up line of “Don’t I know you?” and manages to build a whole song around it, then “Man On The Run” and “Don’t Give Up On Me” follow, full of lyrical abstractions and melody that are reminiscent of Christian rock. Closing track “I’m Not Dying” is successful in part because it brings back the sultry guitar sound from “Cannonballers” and feels more authentic than the songs before it.
In the end, there are lots of positive comparisons to make between this and some of the aforementioned bands—with touches of Gang of Youths as far as lyrical delivery, as well as touches of big U2 songs—but there are uneven stretches here as well.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: COLONY HOUSE – THE CANNONBALLERS