You cannot really fault the ambition of young German ‘post-hardcore’ proponents Annisokay. Having already attracted considerable attention in both their homeland and elsewhere with their unique reworking of Miley Cyrus’ otherwise dire and unmentionable ‘Wrecking Ball’ (which to date has earned this Halle-based quintet almost half a million hits on YouTube – plus a further 300,000 views for their debut single ‘Sky’), they now have gone on to present us with this epic 14-track debut album… and the promise of the follow-up to, er, follow pretty damn soon… Talk about hitting the ground running…
Now, regular readers – and those who have the misfortune to frequent my circle of friends, will know that two words in that opening paragraph normally send me running to the hills.. and those, of course, are “post” and “hardcore” – but only in that particular combination! I mean, hardcore is still a relevant and vibrant (perhaps more than ever before) musical form, and most definitely hasn’t died out yet – so how can anything have come after it when it is still extant? Post-apocalyse movies are not set before, or during, the apocalypse – so how can there be such a concept as post- anything until the anything has occurred or run its course? But, I digress…
‘The Lucid Dream[er]’ is an interesting album… Lyrically, it takes the concepts of nightmares and lucid dreaming and applies them to everyday situations, while musically it ploughs a furrow which has been walked many times before, but at the same time does so with moments of deviance from the main path in ways which compel the listener to keep on doing just that and explore the album in more depth. The vocal interaction, for example, between Dave Grunewald and Christoph Wieczorak, is superbly constructed, with the former’s dark, shouty growls bringing out the inner aggression of the tunes and the latter’s almost feminine tones adding layers of beautiful clarity and pulling the melodies out of the murky depths of the main riffs. Very much based in the metalcore mien, the album also draws in elements of traditional German industrialism as well moments of pop punk sensibility, especially where Wieczorak’s vocals are allowed to soar to the fore by Joey Sturgis’ precise and passionate mix.
Overall, this was an album that took me by surprise, and in a good way… maybe I might have to re-evaluate my opinion on this whole “post-hardcore” malarky… but, then again, maybe just yet…
The Final Round / Sky / Anniversary / Firewalk / Monstercrazy / Who Am I / The Believer / Insanity / Ghost Of Me / By The Time / Where Do I Start / Day To Day Tragedy / Wasted & Useful / The Final Round (Hoppitronic Remix)
Recommended listening: Ghost Of Me
‘The Lucid Dream[er]’ is out now on Steamhammer/SPV