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The Deli Philly’s April Record of the Month: Three Man Cannon – Three Man Cannon

The Deli Philly’s April Record of the Month: Three Man Cannon – Three Man Cannon

Three Man Cannon's sublimely sun-soaked anthems pair perfectly with the onset of spring. Equal parts introspection and melodic, the Scranton/Philly four-piece's brand new self-titled full-length, which is now available via Lame-O Records, is filled with warm vocals, luminous chords, and fervent sentiments.

The album opens with the relaxed yet lush sincerity of "Sun Poison." Picturesque in a nearly tangible way, the LP's first track is heartfelt without feeling heavy-handed or blindly optimistic. Lines like "I put my headphones in and listen to you sing/I hear nothing else" feel autobiographical as "Sun Poison" progresses. "Building Broken Steps" makes the most of repetition and cyclical instrumentation – two stylistic elements that give listeners an insular sense of intimacy. Here, the lyricism, accented by sparing shakes of tambourine, elicits empathy and a cognizant understanding of how life's ups and downs can shape us.

The steady tempo of "Bird" unfolds with an irresistibly persistent urgency. Perhaps indicative of the song's namesake, it aptly takes flight around the minute and a half mark, blossoming into a crashing swell of buzzing guitars, hissing cymbals, and throbbing drums. Inarguably cinematic, “Bird” is equal parts drama and subtlety, while "How A Mouse Could" is moody and infused with a swagger reminiscent of Interpol circa Turn on the Bright Lights and overplayed yet beloved B-sides like The Killers' "Change Your Mind." A tongue-in-cheek examination of nostalgia and affection, the track is a befitting metaphor for how we cope with the passing of time and its erosion of what we cherish.

"Feeling Shot" is a temperate yet brooding ballad, whose brevity amplifies the weight of its blunt but relatable ambivalence. It’s the sort of song meant to be listened to more than once. With the eerie start of "Hopeful Again," the recording is unexpected but fitting. It becomes a nuanced hymn of sorts, honoring the way a memory, forgotten or remembered, can haunt you. While "Apple Tree" starts slow, the song gradually eases into an impassioned pastoral yet mellow homage to honesty and the dissonance that often coincides with romance. Dark but in an affirming way, “Apple Tree” is refreshingly raw.

Doubly sincere and cynical, "Hollow" brings to mind the coy pessimism of The Good Year and the level-headed frankness of Conor Oberst's "A Little Uncanny". And with Three Man Cannon’s final track, “Crow” is soul-searing with echoey vocals framed by psyched out riffs and subtle organ. Contemplative in a metaphysical way, the song feels like a prophetic omen that begs its listener to reach toward the future no matter what lies ahead.

Whether listened to once or habitually, Three Man Cannon’s LP will stir something inside. Their songs have the capability of thawing a wintery heart. (Photo by Craig Scheihing)  – Dianca London

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