Rite De Passage

Written by: TL on 09/05/2014 17:02:00

Since their original inception in 2007, the Århus quintet Annasaid is a band that has enjoyed just about as much success as you can without experiencing an actual, proper breakthrough, having gotten recognition from Danish radio and industry organisations and having supported numerous recognised indie names, such as The Temper Trap, Glasvegas and Florence And The Machine. They've hurdled a setback in 2011 when guitarist Mathias Petersen-Smidt and drummer Johan Sylvest were replaced with Emil Jakobsen and Andreas Boesig and eventually found their way onto my radar with a show in support of Two Door Cinema Club in May of last year.

Back then, I remember thinking how similar their music was to Foals, although the band revealed in later conversation that they were such big fans of Two Door Cinema Club's that the Irish trio was perhaps as big or even bigger as an inspiration. Either way, the influence is still felt in a big way here on second album "Rite De Passage", which casts Annasaid just like I remember them from their show: A band that plays highly danceable, contagious, mathy indie rock, characterised by bubbly guitars intertwining in riffs that sound like spidersilk and raindrops, and by funky bass and drum grooves that bids your feet to move.

The comparison to Foals is almost impossible not to draw, for while Annasaid are not quite as occupied with noise and effects as their British counterparts, their sound is similarly engineered to make a floor move with shuffling feet, and the lead vocals courtesy of singer/guitarist Martin Sahlertz are similarly retracted to a dreamy position embedded in the midst of the soundscape. This is an effective but likely also necessary consideration, because Sahlertz doesn't have the widest or most melodious of ranges, but his hazy style fits the music and lends a sort of ghost-like new wave quality to the sound.

"Rite De Passage" starts out well, with an atmospheric intro initially leading your thoughts to dreamy spaces akin to those of Maccabee's "Given To The Wild", before the drums change the gear up to fifth and the first taste of the band's needlepoint guitarwork heralds the first highlight, namely "Can't Stop The Ringing". It's a well-chosen opener because it shows exactly what the band does best, as does the single "Collision" which follows soon after at track four. Both bristle with excess energy and have catchy enough refrains to bid you welcome on repeat listens. Conversely, the more down-beat songs are a bit more hit and miss in my opinion, with "Feel Better" and "Voices" appearing somewhat more memorable to me than for instance a "Follow Me" or "Do You See".

Thus "Rite De Passage" is not quite triumphant, but I think it proves that Annasaid have a tight enough grip of things to legitimately appear as Denmark's version of this type of band. The question from here is whether they're going to take steps to become the world's version of their own type of band. At present moment they're faced with similar challenges as the constantly comparable Foals, namely that their music is lopsided in the sense that the instrumentals can cook any indie dance floor but the hooks and atmospheres don't really last the way real big hits do. So far Foals have been able to disregard this handicap by absolutely slaying live, and while one hopes that Annasaid also continue to do the same, one could perhaps hope that any supplemental ways they find to overcome this issue will also help them to define themselves and step out of the shadows of their British peers.


Download: Feel Better, Can't Stop The Ringing, Voices, Collision
For The Fans Of: Foals, Two Door Cinema Club, The Maccabees

Release date 28.04.2014
Unity Sound

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