Last Updated on Sunday, 30 December 2012 13:51
Artist: The Anix
Label: Cleopatra Records
Genre: electronic rock
Maybe the band name The Anix doesn't ring a bell for you, but you might recognize their lead singer and guitarist Brandon Smith from Apoptygma Berzerk. With that said, you understand that the quality of the double CD Sleepwalker is very high.
The Anix is not just a side project of Apoptygma Berzerk, and the band clearly have built up their own sound. Their sound is different from APOP, and they sound fresh and energetic all over.
The vibe of the album is dark, yet humorist, a little off this world, and it contains many catchy choruses. The sound of The Anix is a mixture of cheesy 80s-inspired synthpop with dark, grungy rock. It might sound like an impossible combination, but it works. And it rocks like hell on sleeping meds.
On The Anix website, it is explained that Sleepwalker is the result of 3 years of insomnia. The tracks were written across the world, in hotel rooms, vans, backstage, on airplanes and at home. The album has traditional themes but the stories are told while under the black cloud of insomnia, and often written with no memory of doing so the next day.
The first disc contains original tracks, as well as the cover “Cry Little Sister”, the theme from Lost Boys, while the second disc contains remixes and oddities. These remixes make the tracks ready for the club floor – but they add value to the album as well. They're not just the same track on a beat.
From the first, slamming opening chords of “Enemy Eyes”, The Anix show us that they are ready to grab your attention. The more atmospheric, and mesmerizing chorus of the track shows you the recipe for a typical Anix-track – the vocals and melodic guitar lines, lined with synth sounds dominate Sleepwalker.
From the orchestral elements in “Warning Signs”, via the previously mentioned “Cry Little Sister” cover, the album takes a darker turn on “Take My Future” - a track where the despair of the insomniac can be felt.
The title track “Sleepwalker” is a thoroughly composed track, that makes me rock in my chair whenever I listen to it. There's some magic powder in there.
“Glass” experiments with breakbeats and 90s synth sounds, “Resident One” is club-floor ready Depeche Mode-like material, and “In The End” balances synths and guitars. The Cure looks around the corner on “Endlessly”, one of the tracks on Sleepwalker that bursts with emotion.
“Long Way Out” combines a chorus that vaguely reminds me of marching songs of the boy scouts with a great bass line, while “In The Dark” follows the The Anix-recipe, although it is a smooth and sexy track with deeper vocals. “The Passenger” finally gives us a last taste of the great grunge/synthpop cross-over these three gentlemen have cooked up.
In short: this is not a direct recommendation for all Apoptygma Berzerk fans. But if you wonder what grunge with synthpop could sound like, or if you want to hear some of the best electronic rock of the moment, do consider giving The Anix a listen. They're fresh and they have some great work to offer!
Buy The Anix - Sleepwalker