One thing that I love about hardcore bands from the 80’s and 90’s is that they often included background info on the songs’ lyrics. Perhaps this is because the music then seemed to be fueled more by the substance of its words as opposed to how the music sounded - this fact can be argued to death and I have no time to do so. No matter what side ends up coming out on top, the fact that there are still bands today that include song meanings/backgrounds with their releases is a testament to a time when what the band had to say meant just as much, if not more, than what they sounded like.
One of the subscribers to this school of thought is Anchor. Born out of the ashes of Damage Control and Set My Path, this Swedish hardcore group delivers unto the listener five tracks of metallic hardcore filled with meaning. By no means is this an attack on the bulk of today’s hardcore bands, it’s just that going the extra step these days means a lot to people like me, who are bombarded with hundreds of identical sounding bands.
Captivity Songs immediately sets the path for awesomeness with “Beyond Reason and Logic.” The song is fueled by sweet riffs and fantastic drumming, which really drives the high-octane pace of the songs. Vocally, things kind of remind of Chris Colohan of Cursed/The Swarm fame - really nasty screams with a lot of force behind them. “Far Above” follows and is a bit meatier musically - there is a definitely 90’s sound to these riffs - think Trial. “Captivity” is the next number and I really dig the way the drums sound - really full - and the song has some good sing-alongs. “It Kills You to Know” and “In the Throes of Passion” complete the EP, both songs are really solid; the former has a little experimentation with its structure while the latter takes a straight-up approach to things.
Lyrically, things delve into personal freedoms, animal rights, and straightedge. I told you this band harkened back to 80’s and 90’s hardcore. In addition to the lyrical content holding weight, the band has included short passages about the lyrics to each track. I really like how they come from more than one person, so you know that all members, and not just the man with the mic, share the ideals of this band.
Captivity Songs is a solid debut for Anchor. The music is top notch and the lyrics have substance. Where the EP lacks is in that it is just an EP. I definitely wish I had a full album worth of material to listen to. While I’m waiting for these guys to record that, I’ll just spin the heck out of this EP.
As a final note, the label is donating one Euro (of the eight Euro cost) of the proceeds to groups that fight for animal, human, and earth liberation. It’s a very nice gesture and only furthers the point that the members of Anchor believe in what they sing.
8.0 / 10
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