Written by: PP on 26/12/2011 04:51:00

Anchor, a group split between Stavanger, Norway, and Gothenburg, Sweden, belong to the xBANDNAMEx school of hardcore bands, meaning that they are both straight-edge and rely largely on a 90s hardcore sound. Think bands like Verse, Trial, who were inspired by the likes of Judge, Gorilla Biscuits, Youth Of Today, etc, etc, so basically ultra preachy hardcore bands who took/take themselves way too seriously for their own good. Luckily, that has never been the measure on the quality of the music, and so Anchor's third album "Recovering" is also a decent slab of hardcore.

The opening track "Testament" might fool you into thinking Defeater has been an influence given its mid tempo hardcore sound, but the down-tuned riffing that gears towards breakdown/beatdown hardcore sound is an instant giveaway. For the remainder of the record, the band shreds away at a high, circle-pit friendly tempo that recalls Champion, albeit instead of clean vocals these guys rely on ravaging screams throughout the album. It's all something you've heard before, but since Anchor's expression is packed with intensity and the levels of urgency required to successfully play this type of hardcore, it's not too bad in the end.

The three highlight tracks, "Testament", "Recovering" and "Echoes" stand tall above the rest, mostly because here the band slows down their fast-paced approach enough for the subtle melodies to have some breathing room in the otherwise melody-less hardcore environment. More is needed for the higher marks on this site, but beware that this scribe has always gravitated towards the more melodic end of hardcore (or alternatively, NYHC), leaving bands like hardcore in a limbo state between the real heavy stuff of the former and the chant-alongable hardcore of the latter. So with that disclaimer, all Verse fans should be checking out Anchor pretty much immediately after finished reading.


Download: Testament, Recovering, Echoes
For the fans of: Verse, Trial, 90s hardcore
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 17.06.2011
Let It Burn / Refuse / Pee Records

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