Sent through with a raft of CD’s from Grand Sounds PR, Anewrage’s debut album may be a year old but we’re reviewing it regardless.
With a sound not dissimilar to fellow Italian schizophrenics Linea 77 (remember them?) and the disparate and desperate styles of Dislocated Styles (no one remembers them, right?) with a touch of the post-grunge metal of Sinch (you should remember them, they were pretty good) thrown in, Anewrage prove to be an intriguing anomaly that deliver mixed results.
Opening track Ape’s Legacy endears immediately. Choppy rhythms, varied vocals, a nostalgic nu-metal feel and enough aggression and melody to get the head banging and kick off a rip-roaring sing-along, it’s a promising start. In fact, it’s only once track 4, “Butterflies”, flutters into view that interest wanes. A deathly dull post-grunge ballad, it’s these moments that stall Anewrage’s progress. ANR then proceeds to see-saw between the good, the bad and the downright ugly for the remainder of the album.
For every “Veins Swell And Heart Beats Faster” – an adrenalised Danko Jones styled hard rocker – there’s the diet-Slipknot of the all-growled “Rotten” that sticks out like a very sore thumb. It’s as though Downthesun (remember them?) and Mushroomhead are duking it out as to who can be the more inferior Slipknot knock-off. A harsh statement perhaps but while this track’s notable heaviness is to be commended, it just doesn’t have a place on this album.
Cast your eyes back over the majority of the bands used for comparison and one thing stands out; they’re mostly second-tier and predominantly forgotten. That’s where Anewrage sit right now, but – and that’s a very big but – there’s undeniable potential here that if harnessed correctly should see Anewrage propel themselves up the ranks and leave the also-ran comparisons behind. Time will tell. 6/10