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: The Old-Timers
Album: Soli Deo Gloria
Release Date: June 14, 2012
Label: Thumper Punk Records

Three men; Dave, Don, and Matt from South Africa have come together to form a hardcore-punk band known as The Old-Timers. The band who record their albums in a very odd way, have come out with their latest high octane album, Soli Deo Gloria. This album was recorded be three men in three different cities and two different countries. Dave (vocalist) and Don (guitarist/bassist) live several hours apart from each other in South Africa, they recorded their parts and then sent them to drummer, Matt whom recorded his parts Idaho. The band states that their main purpose is to make music they love, and music that honors the Lord and they're not going to let anything including distance get in their way.

The first thing you notice about Soli Deo Gloria when you listen to it is that is has that vintage old-school punk vibe from the get go. Chugging guitars, high-speed drumming and non-stop energy. The album just flows from one song to the other with no pauses and no decline in the hyperactive energy. There's what some could call a "breakdown" in the song "On Hope" where almost all of the music, except one chugging guitar riff, drops out and Dave just professes his love for Christ and all he does for us. The music does get a bit repetitive and is almost drowned out by the yelling vocals of Dave. Soli Deo Gloria isn't going to win any awards for being the most original piece of music ever, and there isn't anything to really make it standout except the fact that is unique due to the straight old-school sound of the record.

The most hardcore thing about the album is Dave's vocals. He's definitely going for the old-school hardcore vocals. If you're looking for the newer "hardcore" style then you're looking at the wrong album. Everything about this album's vocals is old-school but that makes it unique because not a lot of bands are doing these old hardcore-punk vocal styles anymore. It's not so much screaming as it is Dave yelling the vocals, similar to
Henry Rollins back in the 1980's. The band has no issue stating that this album, and the entire band's career is about honoring and loving Christ and it is abundantly clear on songs like "On Hope" in which Dave sings "There is no hope/Not a glimmer of hope/Outside of Jesus Christ/There is no hope/Not a fragment of hope/Without the cross of Christ." These three men know that the only hope for humanity is to give everything to Christ and they don't believe in beating around the bush about the topic in any shape way or form. Another great lyric comes from the song Turnbull ACs"; "My struggle is against my flesh/My struggle is against my flesh/Yeah my struggle is with myself/I wrestle with myself/The good that I would do/That I do not do/And the evil that I hate/That is what I do." to me this speaks about how no person is ever fully safe from the temptations of sin and evil and people will give in to them from time to time and you struggle with yourself because you know it's wrong but sometimes it feels right. Almost every song on Soli Deo Gloria has a distinct message of Christ and his love, with the exception of the fun song "Run in a Circle" which all about how fun, fun, fun it is to run, run, run in a circle pit.

Overall: Soli Deo Gloria is an energetic as a ADHD teenager whom forgot to take their medicine this morning. The album has a very nice old-school vibe to it, which is nice to see people making sure these roots never die in this genre. The music is good, and I feel would bring a lot of chaos and circle pits in a live setting but it may lose a little in the CD/Digital setting. Vocally, there isn't much variation in the vocal stylings of Dave but his voice is good and fits into the old-school vibe that runs rampant through the album from start to end. The lyrics are full of messages of Christ's love and messages about how we need Jesus in our lives to save us from what this world is becoming.

Rating: 7/10

Recommended Tracks: "This City", "On Hope", "Run in a Circle', and "Turnbull ACs".

Reviewed by: Michael Small

1. Intro/The Old-Timers Intro
2. Adonai's Agape
3. This City
4. Posi Isn't Enough
5. On Hope
6. This State
7. The Language Barrier
8. Soli Deo Gloria
9. Prescribed Rebellion
10. Annals of Klepsis
11. Run in a Circle
12. Turnbull ACs
13. This Decay
14. Family (A Payer)

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