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Anathallo's "Floating World"

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I first saw Anathallo at Cornerstone 2003, and I began a thread combining my live experience with them and The Detholz Here. The thread remains one of my favorites to this day. The experience I had with these "band geeks from 10th grade" was overwhelmingly fun, in a scary and nasty kind of way. (It's OK, it was safe, I was at Cornerstone.)

But wow. These guys still have the flugelhorn and trombone player, and lots of vibraphone action in the mix, and they still play in rhythms that I can't even begin to fathom, but they've gotten stranger, and better, and their compositions in and of themselves are worthy of praise.

"Hoodwink" alone makes me want to see them live, sit in the front, shut my eyes, put my head down, and when the music kicks in, dance so hard without opening my eyes that I achieve complete and total abandon. Yes, when the frenzy finally kicks in, it really is that good. My only complaint is that the "kick-in" never lasts long enough. I want to dance, and I want to scare my neighbor with the loss of my will.

Same thing with the piano and horn pulsating "Bruised Reed." Excellent, yes, WOW! But keep it at the top a while longer, please.

It's odd to think of it this way, but the compositions are actually a little like old Queen songs. Like "Bohemian Rhapsody" as performed by a post-grunge rock band with way too much time on their hands and all their dads' friends' horns. Either that or it's like a label guy going, "Wow, Illinois did well -- these Anathallo characters are hip! Package it and sell it!"

Wouldn't matter though, even if that were the case. It is an interesting recording, to say the least, and I think I'm falling for it pretty quickly. And it has taken me over a year and several listens to begin falling for the Sufjan experience (but slowly, I am).

These guys are playing Lollapalooza this year. Good for them.

A few awesome quotes from Artist Direct, to whet your appetite to see them live:

...Carried out by seven multi-instrumentalist band members, a precise and intricately woven performance that spills over with youthful energy. Some members focus mainly on the standard conventions of guitar, bass, and drums, while others (often in a frenzy, rushing from station to station) carry out each of the songs more peculiar needs: some juggling percussion with trombone, others glockenspiel with flugelhorn, and others still piano with melodica. With their bodies sprawled across a stage book-ended with dumpster-retrieved drums, Anathallo gives a nod to performance art and reveals some sly
Edited by stef

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I've been listening to this album on and off for a little while, and am both deeply impressed and slightly frustrated with it.

Anathallo's got a great sound, one article described them as being "a cross between Sonic Youth and seven Sufjan Stevenses."

Floating World seems to be about an even split of dangerously catchy songs, particularly "Hoodwinked" and "A Great Wind, More Ash" (both of which can be downloaded from their MySpace Page), and more subdued, atmospheric pieces. Part of me wants them to drop the ambient stuff and just give me forty minutes of inspired Rock Music, but the album does have a compelling Flow as it stands.

The subject matter of Floating World seems to be taken heavily from the folklore of japan, but between the disjointed, poetic references to magical houses and demons fleeing from stone axes, and the fact that half the lyrics are actually in Japanese, I feel like I'm wandering through an alien bookstore. It's a bit like watching an Italian opera without any translation or synopsis. It's tantalising, but I think I'd find it more edifiying if I understood what was going on.

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Floating World seems to be about an even split of dangerously catchy songs, particularly "Hoodwinked" and "A Great Wind, More Ash" (both of which can be downloaded from their MySpace Page), and more subdued, atmospheric pieces. Part of me wants them to drop the ambient stuff and just give me forty minutes of inspired Rock Music, but the album does have a compelling Flow as it stands.

Heh... I'd probably have the exact opposite reaction. I'd want them to drop the rock, and deliver more of the "ambient stuff". :)

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these guys sound awesome. i think i remember them being in the new issue of paste. i better check them out!

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