Anchors are a five piece from Melbourne, Australia who play melodic hardcore in the vein of Strike Anywhere. While a few more comparisons might pop into mind throughout the record, really just that one is necessary to convey the point. Sure, they aren’t as politically-bent as Strike Anywhere, but the strain of melodic vocals layered over dual guitar, forward-pressing burners is the primary structure at play.
The concept works pretty well in a handful of songs, with “Tour Dogs” and “Cold Snap” serving as good examples. They’re both decent songs but it’s clear from start that Brett Horsley is no Tom Barnett. His voice doesn’t convey the energy of the rhythm section and it never really grabs the melody and pulls it to the forefront. Instead, the songs are largely a product of Pat Murphy’s (drums) and Tony Fenton’s (bass) ability to keep things frantic and driving. Despite a few guitar moments to accentuate, the mix really pulls both guitars down, forcing Horsley and Murphy to define the record. As a result, it suffers from carrying a very similar tone and dynamic throughout that, I’m guessing, is dissimilar to a live set.
“Safety First, Then Teamwork” and “High and Low” are definitely the highlights of the record. Not coincidentally, these are the two songs where I find myself avoiding comparisons to other bands. The vocals take a harder edge with more emphasis from Horsley, which consequently gives more definition and power to the overall sound. The variance complements the guitars well also, making both songs sound more full than the rest of the LP.
There are some other influences at play too, but they don’t define the band nearly as much as referencing Strike Anywhere does. The gang chorus of “From Miles Above” shakes things up nicely with a little NYHC ode and “New Limit” has some shades of Gaslight Anthem that sneak in there at times. Still, Lost at the Bottom of the World feels rather flat throughout much of the record. There are hints of a little more depth, but it never really rises above.
6.1 / 10
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