Alex’s Top Five Albums of All Time (2)

Anathallo – Floating World – Artist Freidnship Society (2006)


Anathallo screams fresh, the seven piece from Mt Pleasant took over my world a year or so ago, and still they do not go unheard for more than a week – which just shows they are a force to be reckoned with, especially with all the music that i have waying down my back.

Anathallo’s music is the kind where, ok, let me put it this way. You are 16, you walk into your room after your mother has just yelled at you to clean it and you look at the floor. What first runs through your mind is where the hell do i start? with the clothes on the floor or the dust collecting on your turntable? well this is how i feel right now beginning this review. Although this ‘clutterdness’ may put the general listener off, it is this that makes Anathallo such a refreshing and breathtaking band in this modern era of…well…crap really.

There are a few things that Anathallo have done to make this, their first effort into the world of long plays, such a formidable force of aural pleasure. Let’s run through them shall we!

(1) You cannot, i repeat CANNOT go wrong with Japanese folktales. The album, centred around four pieces of musicianship (entitled Hanasakajiiji) follows the Japanese native tale of a super dog (i think) and it somehow meshes with the fairytale-esque, fantastical atmosphere that the album oozes of constantly. In addition the Japanese lyrics take the listener out of the comfort zone of English – juxtaposing what you thought was predictable is now the unpredictable, something every album should encompass and this one has mastered the craft.

(2) Diverse instrumentation has propelled this band well past their physical age. The record waxes in maturity and gloates with such fantastic musical interplay. You will hear, and i kid you not, anything from trombones and trumpets to bricks (yes bricks) and velcro (serlsy wtf?). You will sit there and wonder in amazement how these 20 somethings have pulled it off, but they do in stunning fashion. The guitars are still there, the drums are still there and the bass too, but it’s how the individual performances meld with each other to create a wonderful collaborative effort that form a central strength for this record.

(3) Vocal harmonies and damn catchy pop tunes. The first thing that drew me to this band was there beautiful and rich vocal harmonies. Their ability to blend chanting backing vocals with a frontman, their craft at intertwining delicate female vocals with chirpy male interplay (Dokkoise House) provides the audience with a certain elation and happiness.

(4) Piano. Used with fine delicacy, you can literally feel the keys being pressed lightly as a feather and as harshly as a mallet depending on what the troupe want you to feel. Once again, im going to drivvle on about this bands maturity, but you cannot look past the way these men and women use their art to its full effect. They certainly understand that silence within music is just as important as the sound itself, and they’ve tapped into this thought so well throughout the album. There are times when the listener tries to predict when the next note will eminate, leaving you feeling silly because where you thought you were going to hear a piano note, you don’t, and realise that it is much better placed where the band intended. I hope you followed that.

(5) Lastly, i want to note the progressive nature of the music itself. The songs, although broken up into fourteen wonderfully ordered tracks, flow well together and play not as an album of songs, but one tale on a record. NOthing is isolated and everything is connected, it leaves you with a tremendous sense of achievement when hearing the last Japanese words ring true in your ears. The album is constantly evolving, and thus grabbing your attention in every respect. It is definately an album that demands attention to every facet, every second can and will command you and that is why this album does not fail. At all.

Although very delightful and awe-inspiring, the album does have it’s darker moments. Light and shade are engulfed respectfully and it gives the record a finishing gloss that is hardly found in music today. Anathallo are easily one of my favourite bands, and i feel an extreme amount of gratitude to Luke Garnett for directing me to this bands unique and completely flawless style.

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