Anchors for Arms – Listen.React

Anchors for Arms – Listen.React / 2007 Oort / 11 Tracks / / /

“The Roots” is the first track on “Listen.React”, and it shows the approach that Oort is taking in signing a number of these independent emo bands to their label (for those that do no know, Oort is an imprint of Lobster Records). What I mean with that is that Oort is bringing back the roots of Lobster’s signing style, bringing back the emo to the emotional releases that Lobster comes out. The heavy riffs that Anchors for Arms place on this album will remind listeners of a Sum 41, albeit with a heavier push to the technique and finesse of the guitars rather than the raw power that Sum 41 placed into their tracks. The only weakness that individuals will hear on the early section of this disc is that the vocalist attempts during some points – specifically points during “Machines” – to fit way too many lyrics in too short of a time.

There are catchy harmonies present as well as intricate arrangements to be found on “Listen.React”, but it feels as if the band needs to further tighten up before coming forth with their next album. Thus, the aforementioned “Machines” is catchy in its own right, but the band could do a lot more to clean the resulting track and make it into more of a memorable track. “C’Mon, Let’s Go Break Their Arms” is another one of these tracks; the compositions here succeed, but a more critical eye in the music creation process would render the track all the harder. Anchors for Arms have a tremendous talent pool with which to draw, but it seems as if they should have released an EP before throwing themselves into the full album grind.

The disc’s first slow track is “No Gravity”, and it allows listeners to understand the ability of the band without immediately being thrown into the intense arrangements that were present during “The Roots” and “Machines”. During this track, Anchors for Arms call forth two traditions – the slower, emotive style of a Boxcar Racer or a later Blink 182, and the ballad style perfected by a Nelson or an Extreme. The resulting track is stronger than the faster, more insistent tracks due to the fact that the band has time to say everything that they want. Anchors for Arms have a great amount of potential, but this potential is not fully realized on “Listen.React”. They could easily be the next Rise Against or Yellowcard, but that might still take a few years. Hopefully they can stick around for this.

Top Tracks: On, Dead Weight

Rating: 5.5/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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