The Anniversary - Designing a Nervous Breakdown (Cover Artwork)

The Anniversary

The Anniversary: Designing a Nervous BreakdownDesigning a Nervous Breakdown (2000)
Vagrant Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: benzbenz
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It's one of those lazy Sundays. Joe college student gets up in the afternoon to catch some breakfast down in the cafeteria. Slipping on some flip flops, Joe college student heads downstairs to where they keep the grub. There, he notices his girlfriend, looking very eager to see Joe college student. .
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It's one of those lazy Sundays. Joe college student gets up in the afternoon to catch some breakfast down in the cafeteria. Slipping on some flip flops, Joe college student heads downstairs to where they keep the grub. There, he notices his girlfriend, looking very eager to see Joe college student.

"Hi," Joe college student says with a wry smile.

His girlfriend looks at him, as if he is supposed to say more.

"What?" Joe replies quizzically, very used to the endless mind games of the other sex.

"Did you forget?!" she exclaims.

Joe college student, in an attempt to save himself from estrogen fueled wraith, says "No," and moves over to where the cereal is.

His girlfriend quickly grabs him and shouts, "It's our anniversary!"

"Of what?" Joe college student replies.

"Uh, hello. Our one month anniversary! Come on, now!"

"Is that even celebrated?" Joe college student replies.

Before we delve deeper into Joe's problem here, let's take a look back at the romance that lead to this anniversary confrontation. Their romance had been filled with love filled poetry towards the opposite sex and romantic themes of running away and not letting distance divide them. Also, their romance contained the catchiest fucking moog riffs and bouncy jingles ever heard (like a Reggie and the Full Effect you can take seriously).

Okay, before this analogy gets too far out of control and incomprehensible, let's just move on to say that The Anniversary (the band, now) is what keyboard driven power pop groups strive to be. They veer wildly through the streets of musical genres, coming close to, but never crashing into, emo, indie rock, and 80's synth pop.

Summer is starting again, and it is time for my yearly pre-summer anniversary...and that is busting out "Designing a Nervous Breakdown" by The Anniversary. This album, straight down to its packaging, is what summer is all about. Listening to this album in the sweet summer sunset as you drive around town is basically what this album was made for. It opens with a the happily menacing "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", and basically keeps up the same theme throughout the record. The lyrics are well written and nicely fit into the songs -- nothing too quotable, but nice enough. The main feature on all of these songs is the interplay between the guitars and keyboard, and vocal arrangement of singers Josh Berwanger and Justin Roelofs (the boyishly monotone ones) and Adrianne Verhoven (the almost melodically adept girl one).

They would go on to become "deeper" and drop the whole synth rock deal, deciding to instead head in the direction of 60's and 70's pop ditties, which was still a nice sound, but could never add up to the fun of this album. Sure, when I'm older and more mature I probably won't see this ever again. But hell I'm still a kid (well, not legally, but in spirit) and this is the album I want to listen to in the summer. If you're looking for a summer-defining thing to listen to, this is a good place to start.

Sure, The Anniversary had their conflicts with Vagrant records -- which will probably be rabidly discussed in the comments section, and be ultimately used as some sort of bias against the band -- and the keyboardist did marry a Get Up Kid -- again, to be discussed below--, but, much like Joe college student and his girlfriend are soon to be, this band broke up. They went on to their various other projects, leaving us this delicious morsel of summery goodness. Rock it out.

Also, if you listen real close to the beginning of "Till We Earned a Holiday" is sounds like the Reading Rainbow theme. Nice.


People who liked this also liked:
Alkaline Trio - GoddamnitJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Minor Threat - Complete DiscographyIron Chic - Not Like ThisBear Vs Shark - TerrorhawkThe Lawrence Arms - Apathy and ExhaustionThe Falcon - UnicornographyThe Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home AboutHot Water Music - Caution

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Mrdogg45 (December 14, 2006)

It's not without its flaws. It suffers from alot of songs sounding alot alike. But it still stands as one of the best emo-influenced albums of the 00's "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" is a great track one. The best Get up Kids album that they never made.

Anonymous (July 14, 2004)

it´s a fucking great record.
one of the best thats been released by vagrant.

CallingLondon (May 30, 2004)

haha, i remember seeing guk like 4 years ago in pittsburgh and the anniversary opened for them. i guess they were dating or married at that point. i don't think i have a real point here. they were alright. better than the awful first band.

Anonymous (May 30, 2004)

The Anniversary are OK, in my book.

The thing is that this is (was? I think they are still around, maybe) one of those bands that you'd never possibly mention to anyone in casual conversation -- you know what I mean? In meeting lots of people in the last few years, I've never had someone mention The Anniversary in conversation, once. EVER.

OK band, just kinda, like, there. Whatever.

Anonymous (May 29, 2004)

Courtney Love was prtolly at that Troubadour show because it was one of mothafucking MARS VOLTA'S first shows ever...and a fine performance it was. That night was also my first time hearing (and seeing) Mates of State and Fairweather, so it was more than worth it to be bored to death by the anniversary

Anonymous (May 27, 2004)

this is just stupid, i caould have done this when I was 13, kids are dumb

soulbleed (May 27, 2004)

Your Majesty was better. And yea, this made me want to listen to metal too. Hence why I'm listening to Kalmah -- I had to regrow my testicles somehow.

TheOneTrueBill (May 27, 2004)

This made me want to listen to Napalm Death.

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

well, what else do you do in the summer?


Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

"This album, straight down to its packaging, is what summer is all about."

yeah man, my summers are all about pixelized pictures of guys with all the skin ripped off their face

BSD (May 26, 2004)

Stupid emo coke headed slut.

This band sucks, and I hate cute emo hair cuts.

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

It's about fucking time this got reviewed. I miss the Anniversary, especially when they played mostly this CD.

I actually got a live CD of them performing in Athens, GA back in 2000, back before they became hippie-rockers. The peak of their career, IMHO.

When they toured at the Troubadour in support of 'Your Majesty,' their set was kinda a letdown, not that much energy and they only played maybe three songs off 'Designing...": Tracks 1, 3, 5.

I guess there was still some considerable buzz about them even up to their break-up. At that show, others told me that that skank-whore Courtney Love was there.

I reckon Courtney Love took enough oxycontin to not make a total cunt-ass-slut out of herself there...

Gray Davis

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

I saw these guys in College Park, MD a few years back, and what's-her-face had a big something growing on her lip. It made my tummy hurt.

Anonymous (May 26, 2004)

to the dude below i wouldnt buy it. I was the person who said its gayly emo. the only 2 good songs you already have, all things ordinary and d in detroit. the other 8 songs suck to some degree or another.

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

to the kid a little below.

i would definetly buy it. I only think one track i think is weak is shu shubat. the whole thing is really good.

and scott, how can you resist the moog riff in Without Panasos? Till We Earned a Holiday is great too. I would say the only place it begins to lag is the middle. The beginning and end are really awesome.

Hell the whole thing is good.


RondoMondo (May 25, 2004)

"so overrated. so gayly emo. so dorky. 2 good songs, i'll give it that. track 2 and 4. thats it."

As immature as that comment was...that "gayly emo" thing made me chuckle.

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

I don't know how to feel about this band. I downloaded a few songs off this cut, and they are among the best I've ever heard. Then they come to my town, I see them and they REFUSED to play anything from Designing of a Nervous Breakdown which pissed me off. So i bought your majesty
( by the way, the show i saw was a month before the break up). I like it, a few tracks really stand out, but its just not as good as this one.. I think. My question is: if i already have the following mp3s: D in Detriot, Heart is a lonely hunter, I believe in the end of the reign of terror, all things ordinary, and one more, should i still buy designing, cuz i dont already have it. Well, thats my question, peace out.
By the way, really badass review, good choice.

_Sexy_Pants_ (May 25, 2004)

Anybody who doesn't like this album....er... has different tastes than me

opivykid (May 25, 2004)

Fun band to listen to sometimes...

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

Someone told me that the girl in this band cheated on one of the get up kids who she was married to- TGUK got pissed, their manager (who owns Vagrant) also got pissed, and dropped this band b/c of it
is this true?
either way, this band sucks

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

so overrated. so gayly emo. so dorky. 2 good songs, i'll give it that. track 2 and 4. thats it.

maverick (May 25, 2004)

I was just listening to this album on Sunday night as I moved home from college, and said to myself "why has no one reviewed this disc yet?" Then I check the reviews queue and *poof* - there it is.

The first four songs rip. The next 6 lag. It's still a fun disc. Your Majesty is near perfect, however.


Kenjamin (May 25, 2004)

I like their second cd better despite the synth and keys being toned down. Although I'd say this one is way more fun.

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

She did marry a Get Up Kid, she than cheated on said GUK member which resulted in their divorce and their dealings with Vagrant Records.

there the whole story.

Anonymous (May 25, 2004)

great album, great band, she was hot-the keyboard lady

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