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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Ever-changing and always unpredictable, Showbread has spent more than a decade rowing against the current of music industry standards and expectations at a time when other acts are just trying to stay afloat. After ten years of international touring and four genre-hopping releases with indie giant Tooth & Nail records, Showbread made a tremendous shift (even for them) by partnering with the non-profit organization Come&Live! to release their ultimate musical departure Who Can Know It? in 2010, free of charge. So how does an often overlooked and hopelessly controversial act like Showbread follow up their own antics? The answer seems obvious: With an elaborately detailed, science fiction, glam-punk concept record.

Cancer, Showbread's latest studio outing, like Ziggy Stardust or The Wall before it, follows the story of a downtrodden and rebellious rock icon of a protagonist as he attempts to use a punk rock band to lead a revolt against inter-dimensional fascists called "The Principalities" in a not-so-distant American future. In the grand tradition of rock opera, Cancer skillfully runs the gamut of angst, aggression, irony and tragedy. Listeners will follow cryptic liner notes, expansive artwork and provocative lyrics across the detailed terrain of the album's fictional universe—which will ultimately crescendo with the release of a feature film in 2013.

Relentlessly ambitious, Showbread seem to have found in Cancer the perfect storm to accommodate their unusual tendencies. Musically, the record seamlessly blends every style previously explored in Showbread's lengthy discography, building narrative tension with raucous punk rock energy. Cancer resonates long after listening with hooks and catchy sing-along anthems and will have you dusting off the ol' library card to dig deeper into the philosophical, political and theological themes explored in each track.

Equal parts Sex Pistols, Pink Floyd and George Orwell, Cancer will prove to be a creative high-mark difficult for Showbread to top in terms of scale, zeal and sheer listenability. As the album rolls out, you'll find your fist in the air, and a chorus on your lips. Fight the cancer!

Showbread's Cancer is now available as a gift from Come&Live! and can be downloaded here.

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Ali Bajwa
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