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Anathallo - Floating World (Cover Artwork)

Anathallo

Anathallo: Floating WorldFloating World (2006)
self-released

Reviewer Rating: 2
User Rating:


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

Anathallo has always been a band of untapped potential. On all of their previous efforts, especially 2002's Sparrows and 2003's Holiday at the Sea, the band has shown flashes of brilliance in their approach to indie rock, made unique through the use of horns and a soft, atmospheric disposition. The .
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Anathallo has always been a band of untapped potential. On all of their previous efforts, especially 2002's Sparrows and 2003's Holiday at the Sea, the band has shown flashes of brilliance in their approach to indie rock, made unique through the use of horns and a soft, atmospheric disposition. The closest they've ever come to greatness is "Don't Kid Yourself, You Need a Physician," circa 2003, but the band has yet to ever write anything that great again; it was upbeat, had some excellent sounding percussion, and boasted one of the coolest vocal parts I've ever heard in the bridge. However, for every awesome song they've done, they've had two or three not so great ones, mired by a slow pace, messy arrangements, and awkard moments. The band's new release, Floating World, takes everything about this band and expands it tenfold. The question still remains: What happens when you take something not so great and turn it to eleven? The result is a fourteen-track album that satisfies very little and leaves the listener without two important things: anything to hold on to, and any reason to continue listening to the album.

Floating World is a strange, strange album, unlike anything the band has ever done. Many parts are ultra-soft to the point of almost nothing with vocals placed on top, dragging on for three minutes at a time. It's frustrating, because this album does the exact opposite of what you think it will do. Usually such a trait is welcome, but it's nothing more than an aggravation here, as songs refuse to climax when you think they will (see the opener "Genessaret: Going Out Over 30,000 Fathoms Of Water" [what the hell?]), and climax when they shouldn't (see "By Number"). Actually, I should put "climax" in quotations; what I actually mean (or what the band means) by that term is an onslaught of awkward horns and messy drumming played louder than the rest of the song. Most of the songs lack any action at all, or are just too strange to listen to and get anything from, specifiically "Dokkoise House (With Face Covered)" and the title track "Hanasakajijii Two: Floating World," where vocalist Matt Joynt could be easily mistaken for a large, female soul singer. Make no mistake, Joynt has an incredible voice which is very easy to listen to, but he travels off the beaten path here, with disastrous results.

It's obvious that the band has talent, but it's also obvious that they are having trouble utilizing it correctly. I feel as if they're trying to make music that's too beautiful, devoid of any real substance. Floating World does just that; it floats along, albeit very harmlessly. A lot of the album is really justâ?¦there, sort of like bad post-rock. Amidst the tame interludes and other empty tracks, one song does stand apart from the crowd: "Hanasakajijii Four: A Great Wind, More Ash." The song is the most upbeat piece to be found here, having a distinct and recognizable hook, and has a huge vocal part smack dab in the middle where everyone in the band (there's something like eight members) is harmonizing, and it's rather amazing. If the rest of the album took a note from this track, we would be dealing with some seriously awesome stuff. Alas, such is not the case, as the mood is destroyed by the ridiculous "Hanasaksjijii One: An Angry Neighbor;" "Asked a question, took a dog to the yard / Where he snarled / I dug, pulling out the bites of snakes! / And slugs and bugs and slugs and bugs and slugs and blah!" You get the picture. Or, maybe you don't, which is obviously understandable as well.

And while this does not bother me, the lyrics on here are very, very religiously influenced. This music does not make me want to hunt down the lyrics in the first place, but if that sort of thing bothers you, then stay very far away from Floating World. It shouldn't, but I can't speak for everyone here.

Have we been that stupefied by terrible music that we immediately jump on something that sounds inherently beautiful? I'm not buying it. There's very little to keep me interested here, and while the band has a very cool and unique sound, they still have yet to utilize it properly. Here's to hoping their next album is a success, because even though this album is not too great, I'm pulling for them. They've got the stuff, but they just have to let it loose.

 

 
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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.
thedarrien (July 1, 2006)

hmm. I think I'll have to disagree with you on this one. I find the fact that their music is slightly offbeat, "refuses to climax when you think it will, or climaxes when you don't expect it to" quite refreshing. I love that they don't really follow a typical song structure. Sometimes you just get bored of being able to tell exactly what a song is going to do. I love how they manipulate the huge amount of instruments they use--at some points you can only hear a few, and it sounds smooth and beautiful, and at others it's just a huge, ugly mess of sound.

Anonymous (June 11, 2006)

THERE ARE NO FUCKING MELODIES ON THIS ALBUM

This band is jocking Sufjan so fucking hard he is just begging to be anally penetrated. But the diff is, Sufjan knows how to turn psychadelic pretty noises into nice songs. This album is non stop wanking.

Anonymous (June 9, 2006)

I really think this is a great record. I do agree that there should be more song like "A great wind more ash." This is a good review - i really like this band but i'm glad to hear someone give it an honest review.

danperrone (June 8, 2006)

SHIT

how did you guys know i didn't listen to this

that's just amazing

colin (June 8, 2006)

hey I thought that a 10 just meant a reviewer thought an album was stellar in all regards, not better than everything else ever made?

well that's the thing, you can't compare one record to every other record ever made. but you can compare it to what is currently out there. and this is not near a 10. i've had some botched reviews in the past where i wish i could change my score, so everyone screws up now and then, but still, a perfect score for this? no thanks.

nailinhands (June 8, 2006)

hey I thought that a 10 just meant a reviewer thought an album was stellar in all regards, not better than everything else ever made?

nailinhands (June 8, 2006)

a better job reviewing it? you're just mad that i didn't like it so you're looking for things to say

well its already obvious you are not a thorough listener and now I can see that extends to your reading as well. Nobody said anything about a better review based on insight, a better review based on you doing the basic work needed to write A REVIEW. PERIOD. and Im not the only one to point that out either. I could care less if you gave this cd 5 stars, 2 stars, or no stars-this wasnt even talking about Anathallo specifically, I was pointing out that based on the things you said in your review it was quite obvious you didn't listen to the cd or do any research whatsoever. thats just bad reviewing and bad journalism, dude.

danperrone (June 8, 2006)

a review consisting of only insight concerning the story behind the album is waaaaay lame dude

a better job reviewing it? you're just mad that i didn't like it so you're looking for things to say

colin (June 8, 2006)

what the hell is all this talk about ap.net? just because they actually reviewed a decent album for once Anathallo are suddenly a hype band?

uh, dude, they gave it a 10/10 on every aspect. most albums get a pretty decent score over there. but 10/10? they're saying it's a perfect album. better than anything else released this year. or in the past.

ridiculous.

Anonymous (June 8, 2006)

how bout YOU do the listening and interpreting? isn't expecting me to do so just as lazy?

haha well thanks for admitting you didn't although that was pretty obvious, and thats why people are upset. we're not saying they DESERVE a better score from you-just a better JOB of reviewing it. yeah I'd say people expect you to do that. not FOR us, just BEFORE us or at least BEFORE you write a review for it. is that asking too much? people are jumping on the songs meaning because you made a comment about what the hell the "slugs and bugs and slugs and bugs" lyrics were all about. it was misleading not to explain the story as it gave people the wrong impression about the album if you notice others peoples posts and thats not right.

what the hell is all this talk about ap.net? just because they actually reviewed a decent album for once Anathallo are suddenly a hype band? I don't buy it, but hey at least they actually deserve it plus it aint there fault, as someone said they are not doing any marketing to them. plus its not those teeny-bopper sites, alot of music sites have reviewed this album, and most of them did it back when it came out in february.

Anonymous (June 8, 2006)

The whole dog thing is a Japanese myth. I forget the entire story, but they usually explain it at their shows.

danperrone (June 8, 2006)

you guys are getting waaaaaaaaay too upset about not explaining the story to you guys

how bout YOU do the listening and interpreting? isn't expecting me to do so just as lazy?

this album does not make me want to care about the story...if this album was compelling and awe-inspiring, then we would have a different story

i'm not gonna do this band a favor because you think they DESERVE it...this was a review of the album, dudes

vocalyouth (June 8, 2006)

To whomever was ranting about this band being true blue and 100% diy, you're right on that point. I've booked them before, they asked for pretty much nothing, were very humble and put on an awesome show.

Kids on AP.net are def. on the bandwagon with this band, though. I can 100% guarentee that not more than 5 people on that website had even heard of them before they toured with Dashboard Confessional and now they are all gushing with how beautiful and amazing they are. And now an awesome band like Anathallo is the latest "amazing" band flavor of the week. Put Anathallo right there in the myspace amazing bands list with Cute Is What We Aim For and Panic at the Disco. Half of them are probably just paying attention now because it's the junior A&R reps club over there and Sony is distributing this album now. Blah.

I also remember when that site was the "mxpx/blink 182 fansite" and the many attempts it has had at becoming more credible don't wash when you endlessly cover bands that all sound the same and declare them all to be the next big thing. Just stop it. I'll come to this site for the news, because that site is all smoke and mirrors and paid advertising hype. Jason Tate may be a nice guy in person, but he comes off so arrogant on there that it makes my blood boil. You're jocking awful mall emo, get over yourself.

Just thinking about that site has annoyed me! Good job!

Anyway, let's shift back to happy thoughts, this band is really nice and I can see what the reviewer is saying, they have such awesome moments but never really hit their stride, but I sortof think that is intentional and I would give the album more than a 4.

(Score this time is for the band as people!)

Sorry about spelling errors, it's late and I'm upset.

DarrenMcLeod (June 8, 2006)

"are you being sarcastic? if you are then that's pretty funny."

haha, yeah, there was more than a touch of sarcasm included. i've been going to both sites long enough to know about the mutual distaste that seems to exist, clearly stronger here than at AP. I post happily at both sites (being the only two "punk" websites I visit, using the term loosely) and aside from the occasional douchebag I'm not hassled, and Brian seems to be pretty well respected at AP.net. Anchors too, but to a lesser extent because he's a little more heavy-handed with his comments.

colin (June 8, 2006)

hold on a second...

you guys don't like AP.net?!?!?!


are you being sarcastic? if you are then that's pretty funny.

in all honesty, i go to ap for every one in 20 posts has relevance. however, for the most part, a good majority revolves around overhyped garbage. punknews seems to have a more respectable objectivity and journalistic stance, whereas AP seems like the writing is done by high school fanboys. if you look at the first few years of punknews, it started out that way, but the envolved, growing with the people that visit the site.

in all honesty, i see no difference between absolute punk and total request live. same age demographic, different scene. it's nothing but a self-propagating orgy of hyped music that, 9 out of 10 times, doesn't deserve it. the entire website is disposable. i've been following it since it was a blink 182 fansite years ago. it just decided to not get older with me, and that's fine. but i don't think it's in any means respectable.

Anonymous (June 8, 2006)

the problem I have with this review is that it does not provide the reader with accurate and relevant information, which can be misleading and does not do justice to the record. If you want to be respected for your opinions (whatever that may be) than you have an obligation to go above and beyond (the casual listen). Its your job to do that. Its a disrespect of the job, the record, your readers, and the band, all of whom deserve more than for someone to just take a listen and say a cd ruled/sucked. If that is what you do, then what right do you have to be a reviewer on a public website; why don't you leave the thorough reviews up to someone wiling to do the work and just add your comment below like everybody else?

just ONE of the things the review had incorrect or unresearched and because someone asked- Floating World tells the story of Hanasakajijii, a centuries old Japanese tale of a stray dog that has magical powers and brings a couple good fortune. The dog is stolen by a neighbor, killed, and cremated. The owner spreads the dogâ??s ashes over his yard and it brings the dead land to life again. (short synopsis-the entire story can be found with a quick google search, is handily included in the cd's booklet, and the STORY IS SUNG-listen to the lyrics only the last song is in japanese, easily understandable. (do you see why it seems this reviewer did not really do his job?) that "slugs and bugs..." line was the part of the story where the dogs owner is digging the dog's ashes from the neighbors ground. There is nothing to get-you just read, or if you are really lazy-just listen.

and p.s. Anathallo have been a band for over six years, and released several albums/EP's so there is really no "immediate" jumping on their bandwagon. They have no label, no streetteam, no tv/radio support, their messageboard has about 100 members. This is a true blue DIY, word-of-mouth band whose talent (not scene hair) is getting them noticed-and they if anybody, THEY deserve better than a few haphazardously placed paragraphs on punknews.org. come on do better-for them and in the long run-you and us.

vocalyouth (June 7, 2006)

This band rules, this record is decent, this review is kinda shitty, Absolutepunk.net is really, really shitty. Score is for ap.net.

DarrenMcLeod (June 7, 2006)

hold on a second...

you guys don't like AP.net?!?!?!

13013 (June 7, 2006)

To add to my comment: just because a band doesn't do "who you expect them to do" you put them down for that? Shame on you and your false musical perceptions.

13013 (June 7, 2006)

are you fucking KIDDING me... this album is one of the best of the year. This review is a crock of shit.

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

I thought this band was pretty good and then I heard Sufjan Stevens.

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

did someone from absolutepunk.net seriously put down the quality of someones elses writing?

danperrone (June 7, 2006)

to be brutally honest...like my review read, this album gave me no reason whatsoever to look deeper into it, and i can guarantee you that it would make no different at all in what rating this gets...and there is no way you can tell me that i would like it more if i researched the lyrics

the only reason i quotes that lyric is because i looked it up to see if they were really talking about fucking slugs and bugs

GreenVandal (June 7, 2006)

Wait....this album is about a kid burying his dog? Like....the whole album is about that? If that is true then that is quite the original and inspiring concept. It is also incredibly fucking stupid.

Did you perhaps mean that the song was about that? Either way, score is for the idea. I kinda like this album art though.

danperrone (June 7, 2006)

and for real, did anyone else read that review on ap?

that's the straight up dumbest shit i have ever read in my life

colin (June 7, 2006)

Darren, this review was not well written. I will admit that Dan certainly ups the punxxxx by putting down something that is so obviously beautiful.

But Dan, based on the albums that you have reviewed in the past I'm going to go ahead and revoke your license for writing reviews outside of Canadian hardcore. Nice try but your attempt at being the only reviewer that doesn't see the true aesthetic in this album or even do the simple research to understand the meaning behind the songs/songwriting is nothing less than ignorant.

-Gabe Gross, AbsolutePunk.net


i'm sorry, but trying to come across as intelligent while you write for a fansite with the objectivity of a teenage girl is just ridiculous. attatching pretentious adjectives to shit simply because you don't know any better doesn't make you sound like you know what you're talking about, it comes across as petty and defensive.

i'm not sure about you, but i don't really consider rilo kiley, owen, or explosions in the sky canadian hardcore. but then again, unlike your website, i don't consider pete wentz to be the next coming of jesus christ in music.

to be honest there's a lot of reviews on this website that i find to be less than stellar. but there's a difference between reviews you bash because you don't agree with them and reviews you bash due to content. this is fairly well written. i didn't go bash aubin's review of the new afi record because i don't like hte album. instead i'm writing my own review for it.

if you want to disagree, maybe you can submit your review to this site unless that breaks some unspoken ethical code of webzines, or you can stick to your own fanbase. it's not about "upping the punx," as anyone over hte age of 16 (i'm not sure if you deal with those types yet over at AP) pretty much acknowledges the hypocrisy of a punk rock internet website. it's about reviewing an album for what it is, and what it isn't, and getting the point across.

for shame, sir. go home.

eyeslikebombs (June 7, 2006)

Speaking of douche bags, what banners on this site are getting more annoying by the day. I'd have Adblocked that banner if I was at home and that Lye By Mistake banner showed it's face.

eyeslikebombs (June 7, 2006)

Yeah Gabe. And I'm sure any universally acclaimed album that you don't like is some sort attempt at getting attention by not liking it, right? Even if you right a very fair review, citing ups and downs, right? That's pretty much the same as calling The Clash "new-wave douche bags" or something, right?

You're talking about this album like it's some sort of hallowed classic that that is free of criticism. This album isn't a classic, or universally acclaimed at all (Outside of the Absolute Punk types.) This is not even a possible classic-to-be like My Morning Jacket's last album, and even that album has its faults and detractors. This is just an okay post-rock album that bores some people to death and gets the proverbial party started for others.

I've never understood why some people can't realize that music is objective when leaving comments. And don't pull some shit about the reviewer not being objective, considering it's his job to bring bias to the table. Seriously, niggas are reacting like this is some half star joke review by Jesse or something. He didn't like it, he thinks the website you write for is a joke, get over it.

Good review - I liked this album a tiny bit more than the reviewer did, but I see where he's coming from. This album demands so much attention and it's such serious business that it's hard to just put on and relax to. That said, there's nothing wrong with that as long as the band doesn't mistake "serious" for "good", and I think this band did that.

danperrone (June 7, 2006)

you make it seem like i have some sort of agenda against this band, like they said something mean about my mom three years ago or something, and now i'm mad that they're getting popular

this album is pretty lame, man, and you coming over here and throwing your two cents is exactly what i'd hoped you'd do, so thanks for that

your flowery, gushy fanboy review was a perfect example of the point i was trying to make...so i cited you

and canadian hardcore? what? keep checking those referrals, dude

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

Darren, this review was not well written. I will admit that Dan certainly ups the punxxxx by putting down something that is so obviously beautiful.

But Dan, based on the albums that you have reviewed in the past I'm going to go ahead and revoke your license for writing reviews outside of Canadian hardcore. Nice try but your attempt at being the only reviewer that doesn't see the true aesthetic in this album or even do the simple research to understand the meaning behind the songs/songwriting is nothing less than ignorant.

-Gabe Gross, AbsolutePunk.net

DarrenMcLeod (June 6, 2006)

Well written review, but I'm going to disagree - i think its a pretty great album.

also, thanks for the link.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

I gotta comment again. Your little rant about the line "Asked a question, took a dog to the yard / Where he snarled / I dug, pulling out the bites of snakes! / And slugs and bugs and slugs and bugs and slugs and blah!".

Do you even know what the album is about? It's about a child losing his dog, and burying it.

Oh and even though AP is pretty lame, that doesn't mean we have to hate it, just the people that read it.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

This is by far the best album of '06 from one of the best live bands I've ever seen. This guy is a joke.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

just wondering if you actually listened to this album?

to say it's not catchy is insane too....

I often find vocal parts from this album stuck in my head.
along with drum beats, and well, pretty much the rest of the album....

I suggest you relisten to this album and actually listen to it...

~erv

plaidical (June 6, 2006)

untapped potential indeed. what a boring band. it amazes me how kids in "the scene" can dig these guys. there are a ton of bands out there doing better things, but just becuase this band tours with The Format the kids eat this up. lame

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

for the people defending the album...you do realize the reviewer's top rated bands are the fucking mighty mighty bosstones and boy sets fire right??? just wondering...

thoroughbred (June 6, 2006)

Ap.net is run by a bunch of pricks, however, this record is incredible. The live show is tops.

colin (June 6, 2006)

hahahahahhahahaha

sorry, i'm just laughing at all the people defending this band and absolutepunk. these dudes are bland.

letschorock (June 6, 2006)

Nice review: explanation of my anticipated fears, objective approach, swift/sharp/logical criticism. i didn't buy the album because i was unmotivated by the songs i heard on myspace. holiday at the sea previewed so much unfulfilled potential with this release. i hope they realize they shouldn't try so hard - just make rock that feels right.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

This band is amazing. This album is incredible. Their live show is unbelievable.

This review sucks dick.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

this is an awful review for an album that you obviously just didn't understand. and if you didn't see the lyrics, then you definitely didn't understand it.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

This might be good or it might be terrible, but I'm at least intrigued to hear what they actually sound like, now.

danperrone (June 6, 2006)

cheep? are we baby birds?

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

Nice cheep shot at ap to try and give legitimacy to your review, im sure it will be accepted on this site by the users now. Go back to english class to learn how to write, and take a music class while you're there.

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

God, whatever. This album rules, fuck everything this dude says. Just because a band experiments nowadays they're written off as going 'too far' and 'off the beaten path'. This band rocks when they should and is quiet when they should be as well. They take some traditonal african inspired chant like choruses and throw them in parts that just blow you the fuck away. Buy or download and support this band. They are amazing.

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