Artist Of The Week - Anchor & Braille

It's been about three years since we've gotten an album from Anchor & Braille, the indie side project of Anberlin's Stephen Christian, but this week, on July 31st, the band's sophomore album will be released. The Quiet Life is a collection of haunting melodies and catchy percussion, certainly a maturation of sound since 2009's Felt. The Quiet Life is available now in stores and online through Tooth & Nail Records.


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Artist: FM Static
Album: My Brain Says Stop, But My Heart Says Go!
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Label: Tooth & Nail Records

FM Static have been around for eight years now, the pop punk side project of Canadian hard rock band Thousand Foot Krutch, made up of frontman Trevor McNevan and drummer Steve Augustine. The band's latest, My Brain Says Stop, But My Heart Says Go!, is a fun album that blends together the band's high energy pop punk tunes with some '80s' influences, and an emphasis of the pop in pop punk.

The opening two songs, the title track and "F.M.S.T.A.T.I.C," are reminiscent of their song "The Shindig," which closed out the '09' release Dear Diary. The title track starts off with crowd vocals, that are featured on a good amount of the album, and cowbell (because everyone loves some cowbell). McNevan shows off his rapping vocals, that he's done on earlier Thousand Foot Krutch material, on the song as well, and the next few tracks. The band's new anthem, "F.M.S.T.A.T.I.C," contains some cheerleader-like vocals in the beginning, and could be compared to Hawk Nelson's "Live Life Loud." Both "(Hey) I Want It" and "U Don't Know Me Like That" come off as sporting event anthems, and are songs to fuel a team's desire for winning.

The slow ballad "Lost In You" is something of a love song to God, and is very laid back, containing only a slow drumbeat throughout the verses. The band gives a slight nod to some of their earlier songs "Crazy Mary" and "Definitely Maybe" on "Black Tattoo," with storytelling lyrics and a comparable sound as well. "Last Train Home" takes a hopeful and nostalgic look back on a relationship, as does "Cinnamon & Lipstick." Catchy guitar riffs make up most of "Breaking Me Again," before moving into the piano and acoustic-driven closer, "Inside Out." The piano parts on the song add a modern piano-pop feel, one that FM Static executes quite nicely.

Overall: My Brain Says Stop, But My Heart Says Go!, the latest from FM Static, is a high energy, fun, feel good album that just begs to be listened to on a summer drive, cranked up with the windows down. A lot of the pop punk songs on the album bring to mind songs heard on movie soundtracks, from the late '90s' and early '00s', while the slower ballads are radio-friendly. While it may not be the band's best effort in their eight-year career, it is a fun one that brings with it an enjoyable listen.

Rating: 7/10

  1. My Brain Says Stop, But My Heart Says Go
  2. F.M.S.T.A.T.I.C
  3. (Hey) I Want It
  4. Lost In You
  5. U Don't Know Me Like That
  6. Cinnamon & Lipstick
  7. Black Tattoo
  8. Last Train Home
  9. Breaking Me Again
  10. Inside Out
(Buy Here)

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