Human Cannonball: Shrug members help Jesse Remnant craft instant classic


Who: Human Cannonball

Where: Canal Street Tavern, 308 E. First St., Dayton

When: 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20

Cost: $5

More info: (937) 461-9343 or www.canalstreettavern.com

Artist info: www.humancannonball.bandcamp.com

If you’re adverse to indelible songs with great melodies, intoxicating harmonies, relatable subject matter and stellar musicianship, then steer clear of “Let’s Be Friends,” the outstanding new album from local indie rockers Human Cannonball. Otherwise, get off your duff and purchase this instant classic now.

Human Cannonball — Jesse Remnant (vocals, guitar), Eric Cassidy (guitar), Ken Hall (keyboards), Bryan Lakatos (bass) and Dan Stahl (drums) — celebrates the release of the new album at Canal Street Tavern in Dayton on Saturday, Oct. 20.

“Let’s Be Friends” is Human Cannonball’s first full-length and the follow-up to Remnant’s 2008 solo album “The Human Cannonball.” His stellar debut was a true solo offering but the fingerprints of his talented band mates are evident all over the new material.

“I was used to writing and arranging the songs on my own and playing all the instruments,” Remnant said. “I was leery at first of letting other people touch my babies, but it just came together so well. I love collaborating now. Those guys have great ideas. The songs work better with their input.

“They were on top of things from the first practice,” Remnant continued. “They played the songs perfectly. From the very start, they just nailed it. They’re awesome.”

It helps when your band is composed of current and former members of Shrug, one of the longest running and most-respected indie rock acts in town.

“I had known Dan from going to Gem City Records a lot and asking him about records,” Remnant said. “When I made my first record I gave him a copy. He really liked it and asked me to play a Shrug show with them. I was like, ‘I’d love to but I’d like to have a band. Would you guys like to play a few songs with me?’ They did, and afterwards they were like, ‘OK, let’s keep doing this.’ ”

The fruit of this joyful union is “Let’s Be Friends,” which was recorded by Josh Antonuccio at 3 Elliot Studio in Athens. Antonuccio, the engineer behind the last four Southeast Engine records, is the perfect foil for Remnant’s impeccable pop confections.

“Josh was great,” Remnant said. “Every day I was there, he’d try to get something new out of me.”

Where Southeast Engine has an old-timey vibe, rooted in the music and folk tales of the Appalachian foothills, Human Cannonball mines the expansive history of pop. From barbershop quartets and folk duos to ’60s singers and ’90s indie rockers, it’s all in there, and the result is undeniably great.