A few tweaks here and there, and these guys could be a force to be reckoned with.
Annisokay – Devil May Care
Annisokay; they’re one of those bands. Ones you’re either enamoured with, or that band you’ve probably heard of from YouTube recommendations. With just over 50,000 fans on Facebook, they are still relatively small compared to their contemporary peers. Their latest album Devil May Care comes in with such high-quality tracks, it may be the album to fire Annisokay into the big leagues.
The album wastes no time with Loud, the crushing opener. With a heavy-as-balls, bouncy riff transforming into a crushing, staccato groove, dark growls add depth and anger to lead into a fist-pumping, anthemic pre-chorus. The harsh and clean vocals almost play like a call-and-response method, with no set sections for each; they are utilised when they are needed to maximise emotional execution. As much as Annisokay are promoted as post-hardcore, the track emanates metalcore, and it is delicious. What’s Wrong feels more post-hardcore sounding, but it’s clear Annisokay have been heavily inspired by modern metalcore bands such as Veil of Maya and Motionless in White. The huge choruses are still abundant in What’s Wrong and Blind Lane, but there are breakdowns and metal riffs that feel like an honest transition into a more metal styled sound.
With an ominous clean riff evolving into a heavy assault of distortion akin to Ghost Walking by Lamb of God, Smile really showcases clean vocals and interesting guitar techniques. Eclectic riffing across the fret board and long extended vocal notes elevate this song to be one of the strongest on the record. Blind Lane is the most accessible by far, with an easily digestible melodic base and an incredibly catchy intro melody which travels throughout the track. Electronic effects and a much slower approach make the track a welcome change of pace and help position Annisokay as a versatile group.
Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down has an energetic and drum-driven tonality suited to a live environment, with lyrics taking on a surprisingly cynical edge; ‘You just have to born and you’re trapped’ is not spreading a cheerful message to the masses. Hourglass certifiably djents, absolutely barbaric guitar tones crushing the mix with brutality, and beautiful overtones work with the vocals so pleasingly. Photographs shows a slower, more considered introduction which quickly evolves into a groove-laden verse with some tearing vocal switches. The Last Planet has a truly epic and theatrical feel to it; huge choruses and builds with rewarding payoffs create an auditory adventure throughout its 5 minute time. Gold has moments that sound nu-metal inspired, eerie vocal lines and guitar effects create an unsettling sound that works wonders to develop into heavier pre-chorus sections.
The album throughout engages you in both emotional ways and in ways that make you want to headbang. The guitars are dialled in very well, tones taking up a great amount of room in the mix to help every song feel full, along with the unsung hero that is the bass and the drums too. Vocals are impressive and diverse as well. The first listen was a solid 8/10, but as I listened more, in different environments and moods, everything seemed to not only retain the original feeling, but grow and develop; trinkets and more subtle moments improved after every listen. By the third or fourth listen, I couldn’t find one moment I didn’t love. The score it received is a homage to the ability this album has to not only make you feel, but feel things all over the emotional spectrum. A most certainly recommended album from a band that deserve more attention than they currently get. Hopefully Devil May Care is the first step to making this happen.