Friday, January 28, 2011

Big Problem

Song: Big Problem
Artist: ANR
Album: Stay Kids

ANR are a Miami-based duo that merge elements of psychedelia, funk, and modern electro into a trippy yet immediate stew.   Very reminiscent of MGMT.

ANR are comprised of  Michael John Hancock (vocals) and Brian Robertson (keyboards, drum machines) changing their name slightly from when they were a four-piece and known as Awesome New Republic. (ANR is much better)  They have been garnering support by themselves supporting some indie heavy hitters on the road. (Animal Collective, Neon Indian, No Age, and Yeasayer.)  Their debut album, "Stay Kids," will be released this Spring.

Listening to "Stay Kids," the MGMT comparison is pretty overwhelming, and if I hadn't been so disappointed in that bands sophomore-slump album "Congratulations," I might be calling ANR a simple re-tread... but "Stay Kids" has all the elements I was hoping for from a follow-up to "Oracular Spectacular" but didn't get with "Congratulations."  But MGMT aside, "Stay Kids" is a pretty fantastic debut that should give them some buzz all of their own.

Title-track and opener "Stay Kids" builds upon itself with swelling atmospherics until it launches into some trippy Brian Wilson-esque wackiness.  Videogame bleeps and soaring vocals culminate into a pretty dramatic opener.  Things pick up tempo with the excellent second track "Big Problem," my current favorite.  A New Wave inspired rave-up with crunching guitars and hard-driving synths, and vocals that remind me of Miike Snow a bit.  I love it.

The album is pretty diverse in sound, from the stuttered crunk of "It's Around You," Depeche Mode-sounding "Holes," to the psychedelic pop of "The Endless Field of Mercury."  There is a lot going on here, and grows on you with repeated listens.

Check this one out.


Big Problem

The Endless Field of Mercury

ANR - "The Endless Field of Mercury" from Jamie Harley on Vimeo.

Stay Kids

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