Light Your Anchor

Homefires

Written by: AP on 23/04/2015 20:14:10

Those who lead, and those who follow - the universal paradigm which dictates progress not just in the music industry, but in Life itself - is a concept of which every experienced music critic will be painfully aware, and which often proves the decisive element between planting a smile or a frown upon such a person's face. It is also the line separating the capable from the talented and the ambitious, a description befitting Hamburg, Germany's melodic hardcore outfit Light Your Anchor and their sophomore album "Homefires", albeit the quintet falling on the less desirable, and more densely populated side of the partition.

Indeed, "Homefires" epitomises the sort of record yours truly has difficulty forming a strong opinion on; one suffering from an acute case of mediocrity. It's not that Light Your Anchor have trouble penning a structured song or writing a pleasant melody; it's that the majority of the album's twelve songs sound lifeless, like cheap replicas of the stuff produced by the progenitors of melodic hardcore. The more spins given to tracks like "Going Nowhere Fast" and "The Pledge", the more forgettable they seem to grow - without, however, ridding them of some basic level of enjoyment that comes with conventional song dynamics, bright melodies and cleanly sung chori.

If Max Bruns opted to stray from uninspiring d-beat drumming patterns once in a while, if Toni Korthals did more to make the presence of his bass guitar stand out than simply supplementing Bruns' rhythms, or if Thomas Schipper & Daniel Prieß could whip up a riff that made me think, "Hang on, that's something else than what I'm used hearing in this genre", and didn't base all of their melodies on ringing notes; then Light Your Anchor would already have covered some distance toward standing out from the grey mass that the popularity of melodic hardcore has given rise to. It certainly does not help either, that the ever-present clean singing (whether by Schipper or frontman Daniel Müller, I have not been able to ascertain) is... well, subpar at best.

Connoisseurs of the genre might be more keen on "Homefires" though; after all, the formulaic approach ticks all the boxes in the checklist for writing melodic hardcore, and the lyrics offer plenty of hope/regret juxtapositions to relate to. But none of that can, at present, change the fact that it would be nigh impossible, at present, to identify any of these songs as Light Your Anchor's own if heard in passing.

4

Download: Long Way Down, Confession, Time is Ticking
For the fans of: Capsize, Climates, Landscapes
Listen: Facebook

Release date 03.04.2015
Let It Burn Records

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