Although Facebook is establishing itself as the most successful social network, Myspace remains the best way to get acquainted with rising bands. And it was thanks to Myspace that BE! Magazine found two very promising bands: Living Dead Lights and Anomia.
Everything is double in this review: two reviewed albums (the debut EP by the Californian quartet and Closing Up the Basement by the Mantovan quartet), two opinions expressed for each album, two languages in which they’re posted (Italian and English)… and even two debuts on our pages. We welcome Luca “Little Hyena” and William J. Dormant, who tested themselves as reviewers. But let’s give room to our opinions now…
Finally rock is mature and a band managed to say that by playing an intense rock: I’m talking of Living Dead Lights.
At a first listening it seems to listen to early Iron Maiden, with a little bit of Dream Theater added to the mix. What’s new? Being able to put together without copying and reaching a sound that flows without flooding, since there isn’t that guitar solo, typical in these last years of rock, and this makes their music fluid and piercing.
Unique is the mark they give to their songs, because unique, as in a literary work, is the reading structured in chapters. Rythm is characteristic of all their tracks; it’s like pursuing it and this leads up to enjoying the listening and the re-listening, peeving for the end of a song, but immediately uplifting your spirits when the following one begins.
That’s why I can’t say which of their tracks is the best and it’s hard to shut down the supply while you’re listening to “What do you do?” or “To All The Youth…“, for example. Drums are a strong point, because they’re present but not intrusive; guitars gets into sound as a second voice, accompanying the vocalist perfectly and pushing you to pull out your old dusty Ibanez. Their vocalist won’t get out of your head, with a voice that it’s the keystone of their tracks, he doesn’t surprise you with an unrealistic (for mere mortals) range, thus boosting you to sing with him. Unique is the bass that seems to hide, but then it gets into a precious painting where, sometimes, the background moves to the fore. Their lyrics are refined poems with a meaning to disclose, because we’re talking about rock and you have to look at the whole without sectioning into single parts, as I’ve inexpertly tried to do.
There isn’t a melodic track, typical of a lot of bands, and I like it, because the album in its entirety, as I’ve tried to say, makes every single track unique. Waiting for their next work, all it’s left to do is pressing play again and inviting you to listen to them at www.myspace.com/livingdeadlights, already knowing that you too will press play again. Good rock to all of you!
William J. Dormant
At a first look they resemble dARI, but luckily appearance is deceitful and you just need a quick listening to realize Living Dead Lights sound much better. It’s hard to say who they’re really similar to, certainly the first time I’ve listened to Axl Rose screaming in the chorus of Better (the best song in the so anticipated Chinese Democracy) I had the feeling to be fallen again into this EP by Living Dead Lights…
The album opens up with the scream of “Live & Die“, which becomes the manifesto of all it’s coming next, perfectly merging the energy in music phrases and that simple and effective pre-chorus (Going down as you go down ’cause you don’t care), with the capacity to remain in your head, just like it happens in the other four songs. “What Do You Do” is the song which made me discover them, so it can but be my favourite one, soft to sing and made with attention to the smallest details (behind this album there’s a high-level production). “To All the Youth” is the least effective track from a musical viewpoint (pleasant in some part -especially its outro-, but lacking of the right amalgam), on the other hand it has got the most meaningful lyrics in the EP, talking of the importance of always being yourself and make mistakes with your own head. “Monday’s Devil, Tuesday’s Devine” comes at the right moment to slow down the pace just a little, so you can appreciate better the fury in the other four tracks, and it shows also a crafty chorus you’ll want to sing with your friends when they’re a little tipsy. The last track is “Mother Mary“, strongly pushing on the accelerator again, letting the drummer have some fun and ending with a scream, similar to the one that opened the album, almost closing a perfect circle.
Taka Tamada (frontman), Alan Damien (guitar and writer of all the lyrics), Martin Kelly (bass) and Nick Battani (drums) have got future by their side, we want to wait and test them on the long playing, because this EP is too short. And personally I’m curious to listen to Tamada live (when will you come to Italy, guys?), to understand if his clean voice is real or digitally created… Meanwhile I enjoy this album, waiting for the next one.
Finally our Italian Rock gives new significant signs of life and Anomia is a clear example. “Closing up the basement” is the debut album for this interesting Mantovan band.
A Trivial Thing, first track of the cd, is a perfect mix of energy, determination and power, three elements we’ll also find in the following songs: Breathing Loneliness, Stop Havin’ Fun, Dude in a Camera, Veins, Nothing Seems to Be the Right Word, all songs characterized by the typical Garage-Rock sound, made in USA. White Lie opens up as an apparently melodic song… “apparently” is the perfect word, because few seconds are enough to find again aggressiveness and that bit of irony, skilfully transformed into music by Anomia. Officially 2.30 PM, Wannabe and Another way to Say Goodbye close the first work of this made in Italy rockband. And it’s on Wannabe that I want to focus shortly, because I believe this song is “the pearl” in the album.
“Closing up the basement” is available in stores in England, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, too. What’s left to say, but: “majors, where are you?”
Luca “Little Hyena”
Talking about this album is like trying to express what you felt the first time you had sex.
The basic mix is hard rock music, nevertheless it’s different, because of that melancholic side you can hear in some tracks, like “A Trivial Thing“. This music would be a perfect soundtrack for modern Japanese anime, but at the same time it’s surf music; anyway, it’s surprising how enjoyable is listening to it in your car or in your own room.
If you think it’s not easy to listen to hard rock music, you’ll have to change your mind. This album is worthy of joining your collection, but, unlike others, it’s a pleasure to take it out and turn it into the soundtrack of your days. Frames of past movies resurface and resemble a brand new film when you listen to this music.
Your own music background is painted over in new shades, because in this album you find a lot of feelings and live on them, while singing “Wannabe” as if it were your own song, and the same happens with “Dude in a camera” and “White Lie“. You can notice recalls to other bands, but you can’t mix up music styles and choices at all, because they’re unique, and Anomia hits with his touch, harmonizing what’s always seeming a niche genre.
Four guys joined up to express a kind of garage rock that annoys neighbours and that you hate because you aren’t playing it. The choices of pacings are a strong point and the musical phrasing makes up for the use of pauses in the vocal part, then it resumes with a melody twisting you with its beauty.
I’ve got to thank Styl for giving me the link to their myspace. Hoping that you’ll be able to enjoy life together with music, here’s the link: www.myspace.com/anomiamuzic… Listening to Anomia is an experience to live and share with your dearest friends.
William J. Dormant
I don’t give my opinion because there are two already, I just want to say that I like this album a lot and I’m sure that if they ease off some repetitiveness present in the central part, the next one will be even better… But for the moment a little treat like Officially 2.30 PM would deserve to be more famous.
Living Dead Lights EP can be bought directly on their myspace, www.myspace.com/livingdeadlights, for about 9 $ (even less than 6.50 € at current exchange rate), shipping to Italy included. “Closing up the basement” can be bought in several online stores, but it can also be downloaded for free on Anomia‘s official myspace, www.myspace.com/anomiamuzic.