Hearing Colours Seeing Sounds wasn’t a fantastic EP, but that was not what drew me to Anarbor in the first place. This year’s EP Free Your Mind demonstrates significant band growth. Anarbor has begun to sound like a mix of Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, and The Academy Is…. Anarbor has seemed to have found a niche that has already been conquered, but because the sound is familiar, fun, and poppy, it’s an easy listen. Thankfully, they have also diverted their attention to fixing their lyrical mishaps. Free Your Mind is a fantastic demonstration of how a band can grow, and I can only hope that they will push themselves further to discover their own sound.
Once again, their first song, “Let The Games Begin” is the best track on the album. It is heavily guitar laden, with a chorus screaming “BANG BANG!” to add intensity. The flashy vocals mixed with the start and stop rhythm is uncanny to Fall Out Boy’s latest album, and this is a good thing.
“The Brightest Green” is my favorite track on the album. It once again shows off Echeverri’s talent as a vocalist, with a joyride of ups and downs, falsetto and Cute is What We Aim For sounding rock. Anarbor also managed to clean up “Where The Wild Things Are (Monsters),” and it is now a far more enjoyable track than what they produced on Hearing Colours Seeing Sounds.
In “You And I” and “Halfway Sober,” Anarbor unfortunately falls back into their original problem: crappy lyrics. “Halfway Sober” whines, “And I’m only halfway sober/And it’s not getting me any closer/When words got me down/You keep me up” and “You And I” complains, “Without you, there’s no reason for my story/And when I’m with you I can always act the same/Forever, yeah if we’re together/We can make it better.” Ouch. And After two unremarkable songs, the closing song’s fantastic lyrics get muddled. Echeverri belts in “Always Dirty, Never Clean,” “I’ll take dignity over industry/My wardrobe has never meant shit to me/I’ll sell my/songs, but never my soul/And what the fuck happened to rock and roll?” Well said, Echeverri! If you could write like that for the rest of the album, Anarbor would be much further along than it is now.
Anarbor needs to grow balls to make a sound outside of the many wellknowns that they emulate. The poppy songs will grow old over time, but for now they’re just fun; they will not “free your mind.” Anarbor has growing to do, but they’ve already made great leaps for a new band.
Recommended Songs: The Brightest Green, Let The Games Begin, Always Dirty Never Clean
Toss These Songs: You And I