Album Review :
Anam Cara - Ready to Live

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Review by: Josh IndieVision
Band: Anam Cara
Title: Ready To Live
Label: Strike First Records
Release Date: April 11th, 2006

Tracklisting:

01. Intro
02. You’re Not Aware
03. Our Air To Breathe
04. Consequence Of Being Irrational
05. Ready To Live
06. Closer
07. It’s Not Too Late
08. Don’t Look Back
09. Thief In The Night
10. Hear Me Out
11. Just Reassure Me That Everything Is OK

Members/Duties:
*David Bills: Vocals
*Matt DeSear: Guitar, Vocals
*Bobby Canfield: Drums
*Alex Zalo: Bass

Anam Cara, the self-proclaimed “Florida Hardcore Band”, does indeed put out hardcore music but with enough variety to set them apart from their cohorts. Immediately showing the separation comes, a melodic intro reminding me of the days when Hopesfall was putting out good music. The intro is simply a musically layered, rhythmic breakdown. Leading the album is “You’re Not Aware”, a track which shows off the bands capabilities in mixing multiple styles into a fluid presentation. The band has grown since the release of the self titled EP.

“Consequence Of Being Irrational” shows off more of the clean vocals that are yelled and not sung. With the overabundance of this in the “core” scenes it’s nice to hear someone not heading in that direction. I also really enjoyed the guitar work here. It isn’t anything mind blowing, just melodic hardcore done as it should be done. One of the better breakdowns on the album is found in this track amidst the screaming of “Maybe I’m not the one, We’ll run…”

Speeding things up a step or two, “Ready To Live”, again brings forth reminders of Hopesfall and I’m glad a band is bringing this sound back and carrying the torch well. Again, the lead guitarwork stands out to me. It blends perfectly in with the rest of the band, without overdrawing attention. Many bands today have troubled mixing these things together. They should take notes.

My favorite track on “Ready To Live” is number #8 “Don’t Look Back”. It takes that rank both lyrically and musically. A tight rhythmic section and rhythm guitar allow the lead to play around quite a bit. It does seem odd to me, seeing that they only have one guitarist that he could pull all of this off. It seems he recorded over himself, adding harmonizing guitars and such, although I could be wrong. Another awesome breakdown ends the track.

The final track, “Just Reassure…” is by far the best chose as a closer. It left me wanting more, bringing a desire to hit play yet again. They even appeased my metal leanings with a short burst of more metallish breakdowns, and quickly jumping back into their melodic sound. Various speeds are used to accomplish the mission on this song including a nice bridge, timely dropped in to quiet things down a bit, before ascending again to an epic fade-out ending.

Overall:
I enjoy this album a great deal more than the EP, even notwithstanding the greater production. A short, just over 37 minutes, but solid release should continue to gain them fans. I have listened to it multiple times and it grows on me each time. I would definitely recommend buying this disc.

Standout Tracks:

“Consquence Of Being Irrational”, “Don’t Look Back”, “Just Reassure Me That Everything Is OK”

Ratings:

Album Art/Design:

All I should have to say is that the very talented Dave Quiggle handled the art on this album. Battle scenes between 2 “individuals” are throughout. Excellent color scheme. Very unique.

Lyrics:

They don’t bring the standard in your face style, usually brought forth by hardcore bands. They were enjoyable to read through. All lyrics are included.

Marketability:

The only problem I see is the issue with there being so many bands with similarities to this style. Anam Cara has less pop appeal (no singing, etc), which I view as a good thing, but may cost them the huge popularity of some contemporaries. This release should still do well in metalcore and hardcore markets.

Production:

For the most part I enjoyed the mixing on this album. However, my one complaint would be the low end. I like breakdowns to have the bass part really emphasized because it brings strength to the album. That is the only thing that stuck out to me.

Vocals:

David’s vocals aren’t anything unique but are set apart more by the style they are combined with. Excellent use of gang vocals. Also gained points by not succumbing to the sing/scream routine. The backup vocal’s are a bit more brutal coming from guitarist Matt DeSear.

Similar To: Poison The Well, (old) Hopesfall, Strongarm, Thrice

http://www.anamcararock.com
http://www.myspace.com/anamcararock
http://www.purevolume.com/anamcara
http://www.strikefirstrecords.com

Buy:
Strike First