Tennessee alt-rockers Colony House follow up their debut, When I Was Younger with a new album featuring the inescapable hit single “You Know It”.
From the opening swells of “Cannot Do This Alone” this is an album written with arenas firmly in mind. There's a spacious grandeur to it similar to Kings of Leon at their most anthemic. Similarly, they take the blueprint left by U2 for huge singalong choruses and chiming guitar atmospherics. “Where Your Father's Been” and “I Want It All” are actually more successful at putting a modern spin on U2’s classic sound than U2 have been on their last couple of records.
That's not to say this is all safe mid-tempo arena rock. “1234” possesses a harder rock edge as they layer on the distortion. Better still is “Lonely” with its swaggering, glam riff coming across like the Arctic Monkeys at their most brash and confident. The biggest surprise comes in the form of “3:20” with a riff straight out of Tom Morello’s top drawer. Elsewhere, there are enough subtle embellishments on their contemporary rock sound to keep things interesting such as on the hip-hop drum beat that introduces “You & I”.
By now you have undoubtedly heard their ubiquitous “You Know It” from the Samsung ad campaign. It is the undoubted standout , made to be bellowed along to in characterless, cavernous arenas. That said “Was it Me” is almost its equal, maintaining the singalong quality whilst adding some beach boys harmonies, to give it a 60s vibe. The album concludes with the beautiful fireside strum of “This Beautiful Life”. It's an understated and graceful way to finish, demonstrating a skill for subtle, stripped down song writing.
Overall, this is a good album with some clear highlights. A modern sounding rock album that should see them play in those arenas that it was so clearly written for.