REVIEW Doublebill: Cannonball Ride Pt. 1
Holding the melodic hardcore flag high in Austria, Cannonball Ride are a new and energetic band who formed in 2009 and have wasted no time in getting their sound around. I caught them live with Indoctrinate and Kurwa Aparata where they made a powerful and lasting impression on a disappointingly small audience. After finishing up their set, I had a good conversation with Siegi, the vocalist, and he handed me their two EPs for free. So I thought I’d give you guys a double-dose of their infectious music and review both of them! Stay tuned tomorrow for part 2…
Band: Cannonball Ride
Album: Breaking Walls And Building Bridges EP
Genre: Melodic hardcore
Cannonball Ride’s music is a compelling mixture of the melodic punk attitude of Hundred Reasons to Darkest Hour-esque metalcore, with tinges of ska-punk popping up in this début EP, Breaking Walls And Building Bridges as well; it’s a true collection of the band’s influences. Despite the band itself being new, each of the members has done their time in other acts, and this shows in the maturity of their writing, belying their youthful ages.
The EP kicks off with “Hunger For Thirst”, an explosion of hardcore screams from frontman Siegi and the rest of the band in mosh mode, before easing off with a melodic line from guitarists Flo and Gergal and a shout-along chorus of “So spare your shallow hopes/They don’t satisfy my hunger/They will never quench my thirst”, sung passionately and supported some gang vocals that work better than most, before the listener is blasted by a breakdown and a technical solo, with an energy that translates well from live to CD.
The other songs are similarly catchy, particularly “Alea Iacta Est”, a personal favorite where the lyrics and music tie in well; the music seriously kicks up a notch when Siegi screams “the dice are cast”. Michi is an incredibly talented drummer in both his punk rhythm and more technical side, complemented by Dave’s rumbling basslines, which shine through in the closer “A Tale Of Affliction And Embrace”.
Cannonball Ride clearly have their style figured out, no matter how twisting and turning it seems. There are several quirks within the EP, the most prominent of which is the ska-like trumpet (played by Siegi) during quieter sections on three of the five songs, a welcome bit of originality in the melodic hardcore scene. They also blend in some Protest The Hero-style noodlings such as in “The Scapegoat Mechanism”, and the solos from both guitarists are top-notch.
Within its 17 minutes of runtime, there’s little for me to complain about in Breaking Walls And Building Bridges. “Stolen Freedom” is the only song that feels like the formula is a little forced, but that doesn’t detract from it being a great song nonetheless. The breakdowns in the EP aren’t completely to my taste, but that is relatively minor compared to the rest of the music.
Those who think melodic hardcore has lost some of its originality would do very well to check out Cannonball Ride, a breath of fresh air in a scene in danger of starting to sound alike. Their infectious enthusiasm both on- and off-stage carries them forward, and I look forward to writing about the follow-up material to share with you.
Song to try: