Some albums just hit a certain sweet spot of nostalgic bliss that thrills you. Colony House's fourth album The Cannonballers is one such album. They wrote this as a self-described "love letter to their hometown of Nashville Tennessee." With all the playful energy of Switchfoot's early catalog, Colony House cuts loose in ways only previously hinted at on prior albums. It's refreshing to hear them approach fun with the same amount of intensity as a band of teenagers just dropping their debut on the world. But make no mistake, this is a purposed and tenured band on the run. There is a duality present in the theme of The Cannonballers, posited on their website as "two sides of the same coin-the reckless and the innocent."
The Cannonballers is also a surf rock album calling to mind a compilation album from 1998 called Surfonic Water Revival, which was meant as a tribute to surf music pioneers: artists like Brian Wilson (Beach Boys), The Hondells, and the Surfaris. That compilation, and the who's-who of artists from CCM that contributed, were successful in their endeavor to honor the breezy sounds of a 1960s rock n' roll summer. So too is Colony House a success with The Cannonballers. This is a throwback record that retains freshness, and it does so while also being downright entertaining.
I'm immediately transported to the summers of my late teen years with the raucous energy of lead track "Landlocked Surf Rock," which sets the tone that rarely lets up across eleven expeditious tunes. This is a summer record released in early February and sent to help pull those still facing the blitz of winter chill out of the doldrums. "Would Ya Could Ya" hits its groove early and bristles with energy while the title track has all the swagger of an opening credits scene in an iconic Bond film. Other highlights continue with "Trying to Survive" and "One of Those Days," both vying for this reviewer's overall favorite song. Gang vocals and more groovy guitars abound on the former duo, while "Everything" finally slows the breakneck pace bringing to close a stellar A side to the album. The biggest standout of side two is "Man on the Run," which soars with conviction, though the slow burn into an explosion of "Do You Ever Feel" makes a convincing play for that honor as well.
Ultimately, The Cannonballers isn't the more fully-fleshed out album that its predecessor Leave What's Lost Behind was, but it does work as a fun palate cleanser certainly deserving its place in their catalog. The second half of the record falls off slightly, with fewer arresting moments, but not by much. One thing is for sure, these new tunes are going to only add another layer of excitement to an already killer live show, maybe even enough to get this homebody reviewer out on the town to see it.- Review date: 1/31/23, written by Josh Balogh of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Roon Records
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