Every once in awhile there is a band that releases an album that reeks of Epitaph and Fat Wreck Chords from the 90’s. Sic Waiting’s “Anchors Astray” has that smell and I haven’t been this stoked on a band since I was first transported back in time with Heartsounds’ “Until We Surrender.”
I checked out this band because I heard they were a combination of Rise Against’s vocals, Strung Out’s guitars, and the heart of Rocky Balboa. I don’t really feel the vocal comparison to Rise Against (not even when Rise Against were still putting out good music), but the Rocky comparison? Well remember in Rock IV when he said “…he’s gonna have to have the heart to stand in front of me…?” Well these dudes have got the heart to stand in front of you Mr. Balboa. The Strung Out comparison could not be more accurate. There are some ripping guitars that emulate Strung Out’s riffs but the familiarity is mostly heard in the vocals. It sounds like Jason Cruz right down to the crack in his voice when he holds the notes.
The band comparisons don’t stop there. Not only do they sound like the bands of the salad days but they also have the new school punk style like on the track “We Can’t Be All Right” which rips a page straight from the shred bible of A Wilhelm Scream. The intro almost sounds like a tweaked cover of “The King Is Dead” before turning into their own influenced breed of the genre. The solo isn’t child’s play either. “Okay, I Lied” has a scream at the start that is maybe reminiscent of old Rise Against but I think it sounds pretty damn close to Strike Anywhere vocalist Thomas Barnett.
These guys know how to mix it up too. “Sunset On The Moon” sounds like a Green Day song. It’s slow, poppy and as catchy as Bieber Fever. The song “Black Label” is a punk rock song but there is some experimentation outside of the genre. The slow start suddenly turns into something that Richard Cheese would belt out at a piano lounge or maybe even sounds a little like Barry Manilow and is the most rock sounding track on the album. (Wait; did this dude say this band sounds like Strung Out, A Wilhelm Scream, Richard Cheese and Barry Manilow?) Yeah I did. So if you’re looking for something old, something new and something fresh then look no further. “Anchors Astray” has got it all covered.
I wish I could be transported back in time once again to add this to my Top 10 list of 2010. Their next record is going to be one of the best of that year, whatever year that may be.
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