Anthony Verhoeven (Vocals) and Rob Neesome (Guitar) make up the core of Crown Colony. Hailing from the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, Crown Colony, attributes their name to where they come from. Discovered by Johnny Simms -drummer for Marty Balin/Jefferson Starship, while on vacation in Grand Cayman – Crown Colony’s first single, “Ever”, was written by Verhoeven as a tribute to his late grandfather.
Featuring just the right balance between mainstream and not so mainstream alternative rock, these guys know who they are and what they want their sound to be, which is not to say they do not exploring and push their limits…as evidenced with “Ever”. In this day and age when everyone celebrates any group with an inkling of musical ability, the work that Crown Colony has delivered here needs to be admired even more. The song has brilliant, rich and raw instrumentation, coupled with amazingly delivered lyrics. You have to listen to what Verhoeven is singing. It’s important to really understand the recording. First of all, you can actually hear what he is saying, which is not the case for all rock groups out there at the moment.
If you’re wondering how Crown Colony crammed so much emotion into this tiny little piece of music? It’s because Anthony Verhoeven is a talented performer and singer who infuses his songs with such an earnest passion that you really believe he means what he sings. Add in Rob Neesome’s wickedly piercing guitar solo, and this track is hard to resist. I actually found myself mouthing along to “Ever” as I walked to work this morning. Sometimes you can blow people away with music, and sometimes you can just stick with them and make them think.
Sometimes you can do both, and that’s what Crown Colony does. “Ever” gets in your soul and stays there, and given just enough time, you’ll find that it is quite simply one of the best alternative rock singles you own. Firstly because it’s about emotional exploration and personal discovery, and secondly because Crown Colony is making music, not just playing songs, and the distinction is about as subtle as the power of “Ever”.
In final appreciation of this Crown Colony release, I’m so stunned by the lead vocals performed by Verhoeven, who amazed me with his genuine vocal character and style, with the unique blend of the acoustics and percussion on the track. Verhoeven, by the way, also proves to be an accomplished songwriter, whose lyrics on this track are perfectly symmetrical, combined with the Crown Colony pulsating rhythm foundation.
“Ever” plays the “tension and release” trump card, sporting a chorus that cascades over you after a slow, edgy verse. It’s the type of chorus you find yourself waiting for with anticipation, and what the classic pop-rock structure is based on. Crown Colony not only pays tribute to this structure, but kicks it up a notch with numerous subtle hooks for you to find in a richly produced soundscape that considerably ups the ante with more raw grit than most of the current, mainstream radio stuff.