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: Grave Robber
Album: Exhumed
Release Date: December 4, 2010
Label: Rottweiler Records

Anyone that says punk is dead has never listened to Fort Wayne, Indiana's Grave Robber. With an image that draws influence from countless scenes of a classic horror film, and a sound reminiscent of classic horror-punk bands like The Misfits, coursing through the veins of each song, Grave Robber personifies the heyday of punk and not this new pop-punk stuff that's out today. Although Exhumed is Grave Robber's first release on the newly founded Rottweiler Records, it is the band's third release overall. Exhumed features four new songs, two re-recordings from the band's previous material, and five remastered tracks from their 2005 demo. While there is a slight lack of new material on the album, it works because most people have never heard of Grave Robber... until now.

The first thing that jumps out while listening to Exhumed is that punk or horror-punk is alive and well. The music is what you'd expect from an old-school punk album. There's nothing exceptionally original about the music, but the band find a way to make it work. That's the beauty and the curse of punk: it's so simplistic and not susceptible to change.However, on the fourth track, "Fill This Place with Blood," this is a slightly more rock feel to the music, and it fits the album and the song amazingly well, without taking anything away from the punk vibe of the album. Even though there is nothing special about the music, it's still an extremely solid and well-done punk sound, and it doesn't get stale as you listen through the album in its entirety. Each song sounds different, and takes on its own identity, yet still flows with the songs around it.

What Exhumed lacks in musical originality, it more than makes up for in lyrics, and vocals. Lead singer Wretched has the perfect old-school punk voice. When I heard the opening track, "Army of the Dead," I was blown away by the fact that someone could hit that classic style so flawlessly. However, the best part about the album has to be the lyrical content. One example of this is from the third song, "Altered States": "What has become of the wretch that was me/That old creature put to death/Coagulating blood and mucus filled lungs/Asphyxiating sin filled breath." I don't know what it is about these lyrics, maybe the original, yet morbid way, they describe sinful actions, or something entirely different, but I love them.Some of the most powerful lyrics come in the song "They Hate You": "They hate you/they hate you/but they hated Me before/I called you out to be my child/and that is why they will turn their backs on you!" To me, it signifies Christ acknowledging that it's not always easy being His follower, but He knows what we're going through. He knows people will hate us for our views, because they hated Him before, and He's been there before us.

Overall: Grave Robber's Exhumed is a solid horror-punk album in a world where punk isn't exactly prominent in anymore. The music isn't super original, but still exemplifies the classic sound the band is aiming for. The vocals are smooth, and virtually flawless. The lyrics are brilliant and gnarly at the same time. A creepy, but cool version of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" is included on here, which is one of my favorite tracks. Exhumed is an album that could grab some attention for Grave Robber, and is a solid debut for Rottweiler Records as well. I'd personally love to see a new punk movement centered around bands like Grave Robber, bands that get what punk is really all about.

Rating: 7.5/10

Recommended Tracks: "Army of the Dead," "Altered States," "Fill This Place with Blood," and "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"

Reviewed by Michael Small

  1. Army of the Dead
  2. They Hate You
  3. Altered States
  4. Fill This Place with Blood
  5. Lion of Judah
  6. You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
  7. Reanimator (Demo)
  8. Bloodbath (Demo)
  9. I Wanna Kill You Over and Over Again (Demo)
  10. Screams of the Voiceless (Demo)
  11. I, Zombie (Demo)
(Buy Here)

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