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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Forever Ended Yesterday [+Digital Booklet]

Artist: These Hearts
Album: Forever Ended Yesterday
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Label: Victory Records

The heavy music scene lately has been in over abundance of sound-alike "scenecore" and popcore bands, bands blending pop rock with hardcore. These bands really do not bring much to offer to heavy music, and at times can get annoying to listen to. These Hearts are a new addition of the Victory Records family (A Day to Remember, Close Your Eyes), and are in fact a popcore band. They have the typical upbeat chugging riffs, high vocals, poppy sound, and breakdowns. The lyrical content of the album is full of hopeful messages, about both faith and relationships.

Musically, Forever Ended Yesterday is not really all that bad, but some of the riffs are a bit stereotypical for the genre. The vocal section is the main downfall of the album, due to the high, whiny clean vocals, and some of the screams aren't all that great either. While the deeper growls are actually done well, when the higher screams are attempted, they come off as almost gargled, and do not have a great outcome.

Although much of Forever Ended Yesterday can be hard to get through as a whole, there are a few songs that show some potential from the band. The first is "Romans 15," which starts out with gang vocals, that move into growls, accompanied by some melodic hardcore instrumentation, which is a nice break from all chugging. The other song that shows a bit more diversity is the acoustic ballad, "Thinking In Terms of Two," a love song, backed by some female vocals. Vocalist Ryan Saunders shows off a different side of his vocals, both softer and lower pitched, which sound much better as compared to the higher range he uses most of the time.

Overall: Forever Ended Yesterday from new band These Hearts is a hard one to take in, with its high whiny vocals and stereotypical popcore instrumentation. I do feel that songs such as "Romans 15" and "Thinking In Terms of Two" show some potential for the band however, and if they could build more on the structures of those songs, they could definitely sound better and improve. Until then however, you may want to look elsewhere for new music.

Rating: 3/10

Reviewed by Brooks Ginnan

  1. Apology Rejected
  2. Quitting While You're Behind
  3. Denial Is Not Just A River In Egypt
  4. Romans 15
  5. Self Respect
  6. Forever Ended Yesterday
  7. Are You Mad?
  8. She'd Like To Wear The Pants, But She Can't Fit Into Mine
  9. Live To The Point Of Tears
  10. Thinking In Terms Of Two
  11. Dime A Dozen

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