April 3, 2012

North of Northwest: Cannon Bros – Firecracker / Cloudglow




Let’s talk about Cannon Bros.

I like talking about Cannon Bros. They’re my new favorite thing, shiny and happy-making, and they’re on my mind (and my stereo) a lot. I have some friends who dig them too, and sometimes we sit around and say things like, “Man, Cannon Bros, they’re so good!” “I know, right?” “SO. GOOD.” And this is basically what goes through my brain fifty percent of the time when I listen (obsessively, over and over) to Firecracker / Cloudglow, because I’m not as sophisticated as I like to pretend. But there is more to say about them, there are some great little details I’d like to share, and so let’s talk.

First, the big picture: Cannon Bros is a Winnipeg duo featuring Cole Woods and Alannah Walker – who are neither brothers nor bros – switching duties on guitar and drums. They make catchy, garage-tinged power pop with just a hint of that Pavement sloppiness, all three minute songs and hook-filled refrains, cranked up drums and jangle. They sound a little like the Replacements and a little like R.E.M. and sometimes a lot like Pavement, but as the last chord fades you’ll mostly think, “That sounded like Cannon Bros and I WANT TO HEAR MORE.”

So let’s talk about the best parts, the ones that get you right in the gut. Let’s talk about the curious beauty of “String Lights’” almost-downtempo power pop. Let’s talk about those 25 seconds of unexpected fury in the middle of “Plan Rock.” Let’s talk about the way that the bridge to “Out of Here” can be sung in a perfect round. Let’s discuss the way all the little details of Cannon Bros add up to one giant megalith of awesome.

Let’s hang out and listen to a band that’s delightful enough that it necessitates hyperbole, that releases the kind of biological, cellular-level joy that makes it harder to communicate about with words than with fist pumps and smiles. Let’s listen to Cannon Bros.


Firecracker / Cloudglow is out now on Disintegration Records. You can also stream or buy it here.

Let’s write letters to Cannon Bros and tell them to tour to Seattle.