Anarbor

Free Your Mind EP

Written by: PP on 17/03/2009 15:24:31

Anarbor fuse together pop rock and pop punk seamlessly, edging various elements from both genres on their new EP "Free Your Mind". The promo sheet says it "extends beyond the cut-and-paste albums being churned out", but yet that's precisely the feel you get from Anarbor's music: it reminds you of bits and pieces from bands like Anberlin, The Audition, The Academy Is..., Cute Is What We Aim For and Panic! At The Disco without a single piece of original composition present. It's as if I'm listening to a bunch of samples from all the bands stuffed together into one formula, moved around enough to create a deceivingly professional sound, as if Anarbor had a major label recording budget behind them or something.

The vocalist is fairly good, as he's able to convincingly sing both in a ridiculously high, Punchline/Panic! At The Disco type of angst-filled pitch ("The Brightest Green") and a Third Eye Blind style pop rock tone ("You And I") with ease. In fact, one could argue that his performance is pretty much the only commendable element on the EP, as without his varying vocal range the songs would sound even blander than they do at the moment. The problem is simple: the songs are catchy at first, but ultimately they are boring and easily forgettable. You don't need to look far for the reasons either: while the band makes a big deal about their varying influences, they've forgotten originality in the process. That the disc is grossly overproduced to the point that it makes me feel nauseous doesn't help either: had there been even a few rough edges either in the vocal or guitar department, this could've been something pretty good. Right now, it sounds just as overproduced as the latest two Fall Out Boy albums, and I think most of us are on the same page about those ones. It may entertain you for the first couple of listens, after which the songs just become tedious and a shadow of the potential that they otherwise show.

Download: You And I
For the fans of: The Academy Is..., Punchline, Fall Out Boy
Listen: Myspace

Release date 10.03.2009
Hopeless Records

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