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Friday, March 27, 2009

Review: Anarbor - Free Your Mind

Anarbor - Free Your Mind
2009, Hopeless Records

When Anarbor set out to craft a new EP last year in Los Angeles they did so with a goal in mind: to save the music scene from itself. Fresh out of high school, Slade Echevarria (vox/bass), Adam Juwing (guitar), Mike Kitlas (guitar) and Greg Garrity (drums) set out to create a pop album that isn't a slave to the current trends of dance pop. Produced by Mike Green (Paramore, Good Charlotte), Free Your Mind blends Pop and Rock in a way that will get your feet moving but won't fade from your mind with the last note. Anarbor eschews electronic effects and instrumentation for the organic sounds the quartet can reproduce live. The result is a classic pop/rock album that is likely to make a big splash.

Free Your Mind opens with Let The Games Begin, a frantic rocker about voyeurism and manipulation with roots in the classic rock sound of the 1980's. The Brightest Green has a delicious rock n roll sound that is perfect for big auditoriums. This is an incredibly commercial tune even today, although the sound is a bit of a throwback. Echevarria is an incredibly nimble and provocative vocalist who is more than capable of matching the frantic tendencies of the rest of the band. Where The Wild Things Are (Monsters) is a bit more straight forward, but features a memorable melody and a chorus you'll be singing along to in no time. Halfway Sober hints at tendrils of an Americana sound in the opening but opens up into a wonderful pop/rock arrangement that is golden. You And I is three minutes of pop perfection that is bound to garner significant attention for the band. This is one of those songs that could become a summer anthem if marketed correctly. Passion For Publication sounds like it might take a different track at opening, but explodes into a signature rock song that is likely to be a concert favorite.

Anarbor should be impossible to ignore. Varied and rhythmic songs featuring catchy melodies, strong harmonies and an innate pop sense that can't be taught make Anarbor a band to watch. Free Your Mind should generate a lot of excitement.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Anarbor at or You can purchase a copy of Free Your Mind at, or you can download the album through Amazon MP3.

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