Anavae - Into the Aether EP
Record Label: LAB Records
Release Date: Feb. 10, 2013
After only a few listens to Into the Aether EP by British band Anavae, a few things are absolutely certain. First and foremost is that the band is going to have no problems making fans here in the United States. After all this is British, female-fronted alt-rock not unlike Paramore and/or Flyleaf. And given the kinetic bombast of Into the Aether, there's little reason to think Anavae won't join those ranks in the very near future. Album opener "Exit Stage Left (Pursued By a Bear)," is craggy and crunchy and coasts on the effortless vocals of Rebecca Need-Menear. Clocking in at around five minutes, it has a power and punch that just drips with commercial success. Its successor, "Idle Minds," is urgent and spiky and feeds off searing guitars and a soaring chorus. While "Sunlight Through a Straw," starts off tepid, it finds new life at the 1:30 mark.
Every disc has an apex and Into the Aether's apex is the EP's middle half. On "Zero Fidelity," there's a clarity and conviction at work here that sets the song apart from the rest of the pack and seems to point at something promising and indelible. Ditto to "Whatever The Case May Be," a four-minute offering with razor-sharp guitars and armfuls of charm. But nothing on the disc touches "Invaesion," an exercise in restraint that finds the band channeling synth-driven celestial atmospherics in various stretches and absolutely knocking it out of the park. Knowing when to employ restraint is an essential key in making a strong artistic statement and Anavae certainly seem to understand that. The EP closes out with "World in a Bottle," another effort that dabbles in restraint and does so winningly.
Need-Menear seems to have a definitive pulse on how to be a frontwoman and sings with confidence and presence. Her songwriting partner Jamie Finch also understands how to craft alt-rock without sacrificing vision. Certainly, the EP could use a few more radio-driven hooks, but there's enough here to keep the band going forward into 2013. Having only been a band for a year, they're already gathering a ton of steam (13k Facebook fans, 40k on Twitter and 40k YouTube views) as a completely DIY entity. With that kind of momentum, one can certainly expect the band to play bigger stages in the coming months.