Anarbor - The Natural Way
Record Label: Hopeless Records
Release Date: August 19, 2008
Pop: the most subjective genre in the music scene. Whether it’s questioning the next Top 40 hit or put next to its contrast, punk, there are more and more counterparts to this ‘style’ popping up every day. But when it comes to pop-rock, the game changes entirely. What defines the ‘pop’ in a song? Is it how catchy is? Is it the ‘get up and dance’ lyrics that seem so unfitting for the song itself? Thankfully, with the Arizona-based Anarbor, we needn’t worry about the pop side of this pop-rock band, for the band is way more on the rock side of the otherwise boring foil.
This is evident on the band’s label debut, The Natural Way, which was released under Hopeless Records last year. Once the opening track "Love Instead" comes driving in with a subtle sense of aggression, it is clear the band’s dual guitars are the driving force of the band, with solid riffs and melodies that have a rock 'n' roll twang. Paired together with lead vocalist Slade Echeverria’s refined yet soulful vocals, they form the perfect mainstream rock band. Even on the ‘poppiest’ track, ‘Passion For Publication,’ Echeverria croons and grits through, spouting regrettably forgettable lyrics with a voice that is in league with, but far surpasses, the mainstream ‘rock’ bands heard on the radio.
Though the band is not entirely original in its approach, Anarbor certainly heaves a breath of fresh air and shows what pop-rock can really be – balanced without being too sweet or too rough for any sensitive ears while still maintaining its original style. Hopefully this will convince you to go out and get both this EP and their most recent release, Free Your Mind, which came out no more than two weeks ago. From what I've heard, it’s shaping up to be another solid disc.