Annuals â€“ Frelen Mas / 2007 Ace Fu / http://www.myspace.com/annuals / http://www.acefu.com /
The last time we heard the Annuals, they were on the â€œThis Is Indie Rock: Volume Threeâ€ compilation put out by Deep Elm in 2005. In the mean time, they signed to Ace Fu Records, released their debut full length â€œBe He Meâ€, and have played or been played on shows like Late Night With Conan Oâ€™Brien and Veronica Mars. â€œFrelen Masâ€, their latest release on EP, shows how the band has expanded and evolved on their previous sound, which has been linked previously to acts like Broken Social Scene and the Arcade Fire. The EP starts out with â€œNah Keseyiâ€, and focuses on the vocals present from the onset, only allowing the instrumental side to be built up after the vocals have their time in the same. The intensity of the track gets ratcheted up considerably with a classical meets martial type of instrumentation.
The insistence of the track is exactly what is needed for the Annuals to involve everyone listening in to the EP, and sets the stage for the rest of the tracks on the EP. The same whimsical sound continues into â€œRiver Runâ€, but the band cultivates an earlier rock style, linking together dreamy nineties pop with the jangly brass of an older time. What results is something that is purely Annuals, with little in the way of comparisons to be made. The Annualsâ€™ version of â€œSwing Low, Sweet Chariotâ€ is the track that will get the most play on this EP. Despite the fact that the Annuals are covering this track, â€œSwing Low, Sweet Chariotâ€ is transferred from a gospel classic to a catchy bit of indie rock that has more than its fair share of Modest Mouse present. The rest of the disc gives individuals more to chew on, and more to consider until Annuals come out with their next full length disc.
Top Track: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot