Lately I’ve been listening to less and less hardcore and metal. Not for any particular reason. Just going out and exploring other genres and bands. In the past few months, there has been a small explosion of bands doing Shoegaze a la 90’s. Most people who are into music will always think of My Bloody Valentine when they hear the term Shoegaze. But there were so many more bands playing the style of swirling guitars and whispered dream-like vocals. Along with Whirr and even Deafheaven, there’s ANNE from Portland, OR. I was turned on to them by my friend Justin from XUnrestrainedX. He knew that I was big into Shoegaze and recommended that I check out ANNE. I am glad that I did.
ANNE are all things Shoegaze but more synth-driven like mid-career Cure and even early Depeche Mode. But they make it all their own. I initially picked up their Demo 2010 and Mixtapeone CDs and was instantly hooked. A few months later they announced that they signed with A389 Recordings, which was a bit odd in itself. Nothing whatsoever against A389. It’s a great label and Dom who runs it is a a great individual. ANNE is the odd-man out on the label’s roster which is mostly made up of hardcore, black metal, and very musically-aggressive bands. But in the end it was a great signing and move.
ANNE released their debut LP, Dream Punx, back in September, 2011. And it is awesome. They took a few songs off their Mixtapes and re-mastered them for the release as well as new songs. Dream Punx is all things that make Shoegaze great: swirling and layered guitars, hard-driven tempos and rhythm, whispered and pained vocals, and overall sense of the music washing over you. It’s a tidal wave of sound.
Two colors for Dream Punx: Black and Purple/White Swirl. No idea what the pressing numbers are on each. I don’t believe that A389 really makes the pressing info on their releases known. And that’s OK. No one should get their panties in a wad over it.
In the process I also managed to pick up the test press. Even less of an idea how many there are, but it does come in a custom-made jacket with different artwork. I enjoy when labels do that for test presses and rare versions of their releases.
Dream Punx is a solid release. Great songs fitting in the Shoegaze style but all so much more. It’s the perfect music to get lost in at any given time. The release turned out fantastic and A389 have outdone themselves once again. I’m confident that ANNE will achieve great things in their music and this is a great start.
As I mentioned them before, if you’re into Whirr and Deafheaven, then by all means check out ANNE. You’ll be glad you did. I know I am!
Here is the video for the song “Punk Bike”…so far it’s my favorite track off Dream Punx.