The Anniversary – Designing a Nervous Breakdown

The Anniversary
Designing a Nervous Breakdown

Lawrence, Kansas doesn’t exactly bring to mind for many the image of a great indie pop band. I personally think of stereotypes like amber waves of grain and a little dog named To-To, however a bunch of young kids going under the pseudonym The Anniversary made me think differently. This is a band with pop as their skill, and it’s a skill they have honed to a fine point. Remember the days of New Wave? Synthesizers and jelly bracelets.

The Anniversary’s 10 song debut CD ‘Designing a Nervous Breakdown’ reminds me of those days. Although The Anniversary reeks of the 80’s, they also have a very now sound. Somehow this band manages to pull together what is good about all the post-Emo bands scattered around the Midwest and combine it with the electronic, heavily keyboard laden sound coming out of Chicago at the moment and blend it quite well. I am assuming that many people got their first glimpse of The Anniversary last year when they toured in the opening slot for The Get Up Kids. That was the moment they first put the taste in my mouth for their melodic upbeat sound. The vocals are unisex and not a typical dueling duet, very symbiotic. There is a point in track number 5, “Emma Discovery,” where I wonder if Sarah Shannon from Velocity Girl hasn’t snuck into the studio. Comparisons to this band could be made to The Rentals and especially The Pulsars, but even though that gives you an idea stylistically of what The Anniversary sounds like, don’t put all your eggs in that basket. There are still some pretty rawkin’ drum beats thrown into the mix, and sometimes the keyboards and vocal harmonies take a back seat to a good old fashioned rock-n-roll sound.

I remember when I saw The Anniversary play last year. In between songs to kill time the lead singer would sing random 80’s metal songs. Anyone who has Poison lyrics memorized is hard pressed not to win my undying devotion.