A horrible hack

Annabel

Now That We're Alive

Year Released: 2008
Format: CD
Label: self released
 
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 20, 2008
For some reason I had it in my head that this was going to sound like bad era Get Up Kids, or Jimmy Eat World, but it doesn't. It's merely major league indie rock. Full of atmosphere, quality song writing and goodness. The band sets themselves way too high a bar with the opener "Parade Rest", a driving song with pulsing bass, subtle drumming, inter-twining guitars and great vocals that kind of get lost amidst the build up. It's an intense four minutes thirty seconds of pre-climax, ever growing and keeping you on edge for the duration. It's like old Built to Spill gone a bit emo, and it is utterly special. This is definitely one of the best songs I have heard for some time, and it sets a standard that the band just can't quite match over the next 4 tracks. All tracks are at least 4 minutes long which is a little bit of a shock to the system, but Annabel never outstay their welcome. Each track packs in driving, spiralling shoegaze guitars, with the less than intrusive vocals hidden behind the ever so pleasant sounds that they deliver. The band is from Kent, Ohio, so I wonder if perhaps there is a little influence from Man I Fell in Love With or Beaten Awake? They certainly fit well with those two bands at least.

Pulling off this kind of sound is a tough ask, in an age where indie is dominated by bores like Arcade Fire it's good to hear a band hark back a bit to something akin to Built to Spill's formative sound and pull it off with style and aplomb, and not sound like a mere tribute act. Definitely check this out if you enjoy that kind of jam and not something rubbish. Highly recommended!
Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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