Review Summary: A very impressive split by the pop-punk and post-hardcore groups that will leave you wanting more.
It’s refreshing to hear some new sounds within genres that have already been broken in. Nobody wants to hear a set of melodies from a new band thinking, “this sounds oddly familiar”. This can be hard to come by though, especially to the genres pop-punk and post-hardcore. On this split, however, Buffalo/Niagara Falls, NY natives Anchor Me Down and The World Went Blind prove that they aren’t in it to remind listeners of bands that preceded them. Rather than offering a stripped down, bland taste of the bands they themselves draw influence from, Anchor Me Down and The World Went Blind are here to demonstrate how genres can be built upon, even redefined.
Anchor Me Down takes the spotlight for the first half of this split album. Their guitar-heavy pop-punk sound recalls New Found Glory in their “Sticks and Stones” era and can be paralleled with the more recent act Such Gold. The band incorporates all of pop-punk’s staples into their music, notably catchy chords, fast-paced drums and uplifting choruses and combines them with aspects of the new “easycore” sound. Gang chants reminiscent of Four Year Strong are utilized, and work well to Anchor Me Down’s advantage in “Roscoe”. The band is able to combine these elements into a sound that is very much their own. The vocals are another plus, injecting the music with gruff singing and shouting, which gives a more aggressive edge to Anchor Me Down's sound. In “A New Hope”, a female singer joins the ensemble, contrasting her soft vocals with the band’s gang vocals and giving the track a great outro.
The musicianship on Anchor Me Down’s half of the split is exceptional. The guitarists keep things fresh and interesting in “West Chippewa”, which features an excellent bridge and unbearably catchy chorus. The bass is thankfully present, see the driving verses of “Roscoe” where it is accompanied by breakneck-paced drum work. The lyrics are also a breath of fresh air. Songs about coming to terms with oneself and falling outs of friendships, both with a positive outlook. They are relatable lyrics, and do not suffer from cliché. The band is a strong unit and leaves a lasting impression.
The World Went Blind have a very distinct post-hardcore sound. The atmosphere surrounding their songs is very daunting and is comparable to The Receiving End of Sirens. Take this and add the hooks from Balance and Composure and you get The World Went Blind. “Upon Us” starts off with dissonant guitars and later explodes after a startling buildup. The vocals of are very intense and emotional, which works perfectly with the eerie atmosphere the band works to create. The band transitions smoothly between hardcore-influenced riffing and light, ambient interludes that could make any post-rock band jealous. “Anathema” feels like a trip, with its surprising turns in direction that give the song identity. The World Went Blind showcase everything they have to offer in the closer “Anger and Bargaining”. Buildups that explode in a way that would make Brand New proud, dark interludes, clanging drum sounds, and twinkling guitars, the track has it all.
This split album is a very impressive effort by the bands involved. With only three tracks apiece, they are able to give the listener a well-crafted taste of their sound. Both bands offer original takes on the genres they are influenced by. It is clear, especially in the case of The World Went Blind that neither band can be held down into the norms of genres. Although it is awkward placing upbeat pop-punk alongside atmospheric, experimental post-hardcore, this split commands attention. Where these bands can go is unknown, but they are definitely on the right track.