Monday, April 27, 2009

The reviews Steel To Dust eh?

Anchor Down-Steel To Dust-Solidarity Recordings 2009

"Portland's Anchor Down are a underground pop-punk band. That sums them up quite nicely because they're not pretending to be anything more than that. Pulling from influences ranging from Dillinger Four to Descendents, Anchor Down combines all the different elements of the pop-punk format and mold them together into one melting pot; and it is that molding that makes Steel To Dust - their debut six song EP - so memorable, catchy and fun.

Many people point out similarities to Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music) and Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio) when they talk about Anchor Down's vocalist Alex Hudjohn and they are right in some aspects. But to me, the most striking thing about Hudjohn's vocals is the similarity to Mighty Mighty Bosstones vocalist Dicky Barrett. While not always as low as Barrett, Hudjohn's vocals have the same intonation as him - particularly on Red Ink. It's a weird sensation to hear vocals so similar to Barrett used in such a decisively different fashion but it is that off putting sensation that makes the vocals more memorable; because they seem odd but work so well nonetheless.

The Bosstones are the only ska band that has left an implant on Steel To Dust as the rest of it is pure underground pop-punk. There's gritty moments of Dillinger Four and Lawrence Arms thrown in through distorted guitar riffs alongside the signature skate-punk sound of The Bouncing Souls. World War 1's lyrics feel as if they're trying to write from the point of view of The Souls or Gaslight Anthem (although they aren't quite as good as either of them yet), but it makes it so that you can't help but chant along the final verse of "These words are our bullets / these chords are our swords / we're marching in time / we're waging a war".

You can hear some Nothington in the music, with some Gainesville punk style as well but all of it is more curved and more controlled than the Gainesville scene and instead points more towards the Fat style of pop punk (Dead To Me). It can sometimes be predictable, but it is always fun, energetic and catchy. The call and return chorus of Crass-A-Nova, the bass and drum intro to Red Ink, the Hot Water Music melody of El Radio; it's what pop-punk fans want to hear and Anchor Down delivers it in spade."

-Bobby Gorman-The Punk Site

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