|Anberlin Cities||Tooth And Nail|
Being that this album is already in stores and in the hands of eager fans already, I won't pitch this review at those wise folks.|
Fans already know what a killer modern rock album this is, so this review goes to the uninitiated or fence sitting readers that need a push in Anberlin's direction.
Anberlin are one of America's finest modern rock bands, with a great sense of melody and a feel for the old school of thought that melody comes before power and all songs must have a good chorus.
Add to that a highly capable singer that, let's face it, most modern rock bands lack.
The guys have worked hard at building a fanbase and their last album was as close to a breakthrough release as you'll get.
This record should send them over the top. I rate it even better than the excellent Never Take A Friendship Personal and I'll go further to say that it is one of the finest modern rock records I have.
These guys are cranking it up in a time when counterparts Goo Goo Dolls are wimping out. But, even when these guys slow it down for a ballad, they add emotion and passion long since gone from the Goo's.
At the heart of this very fine record indeed are the songs – totally accessible and totally likeable.
The guys mix up the old school approach with the modern feel of bands like Goo Goo Dolls and Neve.
The band opens with one of the finest modern rock tracks I have heard. I can't rave enough about the power and impact of Godspeed, which simply blows the speakers apart with its energy and spunk. A killer guitar riff as thick as anything Motley Crue could muster up morphs into a great chorus which has a 80s stadium rock vibe. I haven't heard too many modern rock bands mix the two styles as easily as Anberlin do.
Adelaide is more typical of Anberlin's style and while uptempo and feel-good all the way, is more contemporary, especially with its short, but melodic chorus.
A Whisper & A Clamor is a little moodier this time, but again is another showcase of Anberlin's style. Another great chorus allows for more melody to flow over the guitar riffing.
The Unwinding Cable Car is the first of a few more introspective and reflective ballads dominated by acoustic guitars. At first is sounds almost too stark a contrast to the trio of opening rockers. But once the melody unfolds, the song catches you hook, line and sinker.
The dark and moody hard rocker There Is No Mathematics To Love And Loss features some great guitar playing and a less obvious chorus.
Hello Alone is another favourite of mine, largely due to the guitar power of the song followed by the short, but immediate chorus hook. Modern rock at its best.
Alexithymia is the second musical u-turn of the album, delivering another sweet acoustic driven ballad with orchestral backing adding real depth to the sound.
Reclusion is a simple yet heavy rock song sandwiched between two very atmospheric acoustic dominated tracks. It does its job in breaking up the tempo.
Inevitable is the last acoustic track and picks up from where the other 2 leave off – very soft and haunting in its approach. Until mid way through the song that is. The song takes off in spectacular fashion, with a children's orchestra going head to head with the full power of the band for a rewarding result.
Not too many bands leave the best for last in this day and age, but imagine my surprise when the best chorus and most emotionally powerful song of the album is left for last.
With Dismantle.Repair, the band starts by keeping their cards close to their chest, a verse hinting at something approaching, but you can never be sure until….bang…that chorus from heaven plows through, packed with emotion and great lead vocals.
This will be up there with the opening song at the end of the year best song lists.
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