Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Anberlin – Blueprints for the Black Market

July 20, 2003

Anberlin just popped up. I know nothing about them. After listening to the CD through a couple times, I still know virtually nothing about them, cause they didn’t print their lyrics in the CD booklet. That is most definitely a pet peeve of mine.

The cd blasts out of the gate with “Readyfuels” (yes, it’s one word). Heavy but melodic guitars, driving percussion, and great vocals propel this dark track. Then, the gears shift drastically, and the punk melodicness of “Foreign Language” graces the ears. It’s a song by a guy who thinks girls are speaking a foreign language.

“Change The World”, the radio single, is actually an acceptable one, taking the hardness of track one and combining it with the catchiness of two to create a better track. This happens often in the world of indie rock. I call it conglomeration. The guitars are great in this track.

After opening with a heavy riff, “Cold War Transmissions” breaks away from it to deliver a more melodic-based track. Not nearly pop structured, but melodic. “Glass to the Arson” delivers an almost metal riff, while contrasting passionate, nearly screamed vocals and near whispers. One of the most interesting tracks on the album.

“The Undeveloped Story” contains a riff reminiscent of….Readyfuels. The vocals are reminiscent of…Readyfuels. It feels like a remix almost. A spacey sounding keyboard riff opens “Autobahn” which contributes to the whole “sing-along-in-your-car” feel. The only problem is that the chorus stinks. It totally doesn’t fit the song. “We Dreamt In Heist” smacks you in the face with vocals….not even showcasing the lead riff. It has a cool ‘ah’ part, but that’s about it in this song.

A toned down redux of “Cold War Transmissions” ensues, only the name “Love Song” is slapped on it. When the piano kicks in, it’s cool, But only then. “Cadence” feels like a redux of “We Dreamt in Heist”, making a bad song worse. It’s clearly a love song, judging by the chorus, making that two in a row. After a great intro, “Naïve Orleans” pulses back into their clichéd rock vibes. The song isn’t too close to anything, but it just feels overdone by this time in the CD.

In conclusion, the first 5 songs would have made an awesome EP. In tandem with the other 6, it feels long and unexciting, and diminishes the greatness of the first five tracks. It also relays no emotional message….it’s just blah. Less rough than Chevelle with elements of Jimmy Eat World thrown in. 5 out of 10

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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