Anchors – Lost At The Bottom Of The World

Lost At The Bottom Of The World is the second album from Australian punkers Anchors. The broadly pop-punk band from Melbourne was founded in 2008 and released their first album, called Bad Juju, in 2010. The second album is in many ways a continuation of their first, staying true to their sound but also showing signs of development and further experimentation.

Anchors is a band with much more in common with the punk of the 80’s than most of the pop-punk bands that have circulated in the past decade. They describe their songs as “life songs” rather than songs about love or even politics. They’re not trying to rally for political reform, they’re just sick of what society has to offer and pissed at the rest of us for conforming. Punk as it should be, right?

The album opens with intro Death Rattle and this can be seen as a statement of intent from the band, bringing together 43 seconds of fast paced drums and infectiously catchy yet also powerful guitars, ripping straight into the first full length songEverything’s Amazing And Nobody’s Happy.The fast paced drums typical of punk songs and catchy guitars continue seamlessly from the intro, but now we get to hear the vocalist Brett too and he doesn’t disappoint, delivering aggressive and intense vocals.

With its repetitive feel you could be forgiven if after the first minute or so you felt tempted to skip to the next song, but if you did you would make a big mistake. The bridge of the song shows off the bands hardcore side, the beat slowing and the guitar taking pride of position (I challenge you to listen without headbanging along!).

As if to show that they didn’t discover their more hardcore side by accident, Tour Dogs, the third full length song on the album, hits in and delivers another fast paced track, but one which is both catchy and heavy in equal measures. It features two solos which add a more melodic feel to the song and album more generally, showing off the band’s depth and talent more than some of their more traditional sounding songs do.

Safety First, Then Teamwork comes along in the form of a big, aggressive middle finger to someone who remains nameless. Brimming with pure hatred, Brett aims his lyrics at the target: ”’cause I can’t stand a single thing about you, I can’t believe that anybody likes you!”. Perhaps they aren’t the most eloquent lyrics ever, but punk hardly ever tries to be poetic and the song gets the point across very clearly. The upbeat guitars send slightly mixed messages though, making listeners sing-along happily to Anchors’ greatest “fuck you”.

Another highlight on the album is From Miles Above which has a lot in common with Tour Dogs. Both bring hardcore riffs to the table along with the consistently strong vocals – lead and backup. There is a noticeable divergence though, where Tour Dogsfeatures the punk-y guitar riffs, From Miles Above provides fans with a bit of no nonsense melodic hardcore – definitely moshpit worthy.

The album does have its lower points though. It’s hard to see how Lazarus Sign adds anything new to the album, just sounding like a mash-up of everything that has come before it. Grimes is another song that brings déjà vu with it, reminiscent of Safety First, Then Teamwork in sound and lyrical content.

As the album draws to a close Anchors seem to forget themselves, producing a song which puts the pop in pop-punk called New Limits. This isn’t in itself a bad thing and the song may even be one of the best on the album. It is much more slowly paced, meaning Brett has a chance to try to show off more of his vocal range as the song builds to a powerful crescendo. But for a band that prides themselves on their angry anti-conformist songs it seems a little confused.

As a complete album there’s no doubting its quality and Lost At The Bottom Of The World is sure to help Anchors break out of Australia and establish more of an international fan base. There is still room for improvement though and hopefully we can expect a third album (if and when it comes) to be even better.

3.5 out of 5 high fives!