Nov 2011 15

The Anix - SleepwalkerThe Anix
Category: Electro / Rock / Alternative
Album: Sleepwalker
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: Deviating little from the formulas already established, the production and performance make this an album that The Anix can be proud of.


Brandon Smith, along with brother Logan and keyboardist/guitarist Chris Dinger, has carved quite a niche for himself in the annals of electro/rock with his band The Anix. Releasing several albums worth of music just under the radar of the mainstream rock circuit, beginning with 2008’s critically acclaimed Demolition City, The Anix has earned a reputation for its combination of ‘80s synthpop melody and moody grunge rock textures, signing to Cleopatra Records for this official sophomore album. Sleepwalker presents a different side to Smith’s songwriting with the majority of the music apparently written during the sleepless periods during touring. As such, there is a certain effortless, perhaps somewhat formulaic quality to the songs that immediately identifies it as The Anix, full of restrained, electrified verses and explosive, powerful choruses.

From the opening bass thrums and rapid fire beats topped off by Smith’s bittersweet vocals leading into a slower paced chorus of soaring melodic despair of “Enemy Eyes,” it’s The Anix by-the-numbers. And yet, that is not to say that Sleepwalker is a lax or lazy album; certainly, the band is to be commended for maintaining a consistency of style while actually improving aspects of production into fuller, more bombastic territory, thanks partially to the co-production of Chris Lietz and Die Krupps’ Jürgen Engler. Indeed, songs like “Glass” with its skittering breakbeat rhythms and subtle vocal harmonies, or “In the End” with its throbbing synth bass and ambient guitar passages shimmer atmospherically with a breadth of sound that escape much of the band’s earlier work. Similarly, “In the Dark” features an infectious dance beat and a chorus impossible to not get lost, complete with a delightful vocoder effect that emphasizes The Anix’s ‘80s predilections, which is also presented in the cover of The Lost Boys theme, “Cry Little Sister.” Transforming the ominous and elegiac tone of the original version into a mélange of distorted atmospheres, angelic harmonies, and danceable rhythms, the band effectively makes the song their own.

Rounding out the album is a second disc of remixes, many of which do little more than transform the songs into dance floor fodder for any DJ in need of a surefire hit to add to the night’s set. However, the versions of “Sleepwalker” and “In the Dark” by Invader! and Angelspit respectively do well to add a dimension of glitch-laden dubstep to the tracks. The second disc also begins with a shortened but otherwise almost note-for-note cover of The Cure’s “Burn,” famously featured on The Crow soundtrack. The two soundtrack covers, along with the futuristic ambience of the album as a whole, particularly in the symphonic arpeggios that resonate throughout “Warning Signs,” lends to the band’s cinematic inspirations on Sleepwalker.

All in all, Sleepwalker is an album The Anix can be proud of as it solidifies their sound and sees them progressing into a new sense of polish and performance. While it musically does little to deviate from the formulas already established on past releases, it does see Brandon Smith poised to take his band to greater heights of recognition and his music into new realms of emotion and style.

Track list:
Disc 1

  1. Enemy Eyes
  2. Warning Signs
  3. Cry Little Sister
  4. Take My Future
  5. Sleepwalker
  6. Glass
  7. Resident One
  8. In the End
  9. Endlessly
  10. Long Way Out
  11. In the Dark
  12. The Passenger

Disc 2 – Remixes + Oddities

  1. Burn (feat. Apoptygma Berzerk)
  2. Glass (Tommie Sunshine Remix)
  3. Enemy Eyes (Powerman 5000 Remix)
  4. Long Way Out (Mozart & Friends Remix)
  5. Resident One (Mozart & Friends Remix)
  6. Sleepwalker (Invader! Remix)
  7. Glass (Psychopomps Remix)
  8. In the Dark (Angelspit RMX)
  9. Cry Little Sister (Mozart & Friends Remix)

The Anix Website
The Anix MySpace
The Anix Facebook
The Anix Twitter
Sleepwalker Website
Cleopatra Records Website
Cleopatra Records Facebook
Cleopatra Records Twitter

Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3


Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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