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Anchor - Captivity Songs (Cover Artwork)

Anchor

Anchor: Captivity SongsCaptivity Songs (2007)
Europe

Reviewer Rating: 3


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

Some people would have you believe that in order for a statement to be valid it has to be wrapped up in complicated five-dollar words. One of the truest statements I've ever read is by Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, and she puts it quite simply: "If a book doesn't make us better, then w.


Some people would have you believe that in order for a statement to be valid it has to be wrapped up in complicated five-dollar words. One of the truest statements I've ever read is by Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, and she puts it quite simply: "If a book doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for?" I think to some degree the same idea can be applied to music. That is why I believe it is important for socially aware bands like Gothenburg, Sweden's Anchor to continue existing within the hardcore/punk scene.

Anchor play a style of vegan/straight-edge hardcore that seems to draw main inspiration from `90s metallic hardcore in the vein of Trial. The opening song "Beyond Reason and Logic" has a lengthy intro but the length only helps emphasize the eventual surge of energy put forth when the vocals kick in. An extremely catchy refrain punctuated by a throaty yell of "fuuuuuck!" grounds the desperate feelings of the song. Considering the lyrics deal with rejecting the Judaeo-Christian concept of religion, it makes perfect sense for the song to sound like a struggle, just like the evangelical Christians are in a battle for our souls (tee hee). What actually ends up being a perplexing aspect of the EP is that although the very first song rejects this concept of religion and upholds atheist reason and logic, the band makes reference several times to the "soul" in "Far Above" and "Captivity." This makes the band seem contradictory in that they still espouse the same sort of Christian value of a pure soul within the human. Even so, it can be seen as an aid to the sentiments in "Beyond Reason and Logic" in that Christian terminology and ideology has been given so much privilege in society that it still finds ways into even ardent atheists' everyday discourse, all the more reason for it to be subverted.

While Anchor is a straight-edge band they avoid some of the pitfalls from the gate in not using ridiculous lingo like "nailed to the x" or using quasi-violent language to degrade those that do drink. More so than hate or sloganeering, their message on "Far Above" is in line with the rest of their ideals of retaining personal freedom and seeing alcoholism as a loss of that. Now I'll say I do enjoy a nice tall glass of whiskey every now and then and even getting drunk once in a while. The message here does, however, even appeal to someone like me as it is plain to see there is a large segment of the population where alcohol acts as their only social outlet and does limit one's personal growth due to a lack of self-awareness. It is only partially successful because while it does avoid overtly confrontational formulaic expression, it does come off as slightly preachy in spots, which can be a turnoff.

Anchor have proved with their debut release that they are capable of turning out thought-provoking hardcore that still manages to be accessible and and highly enjoyable in spots.

 


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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.
douglas_is_rad (March 13, 2008)

whoops... you said that last bit already. Heh. I guess I jumped the gun a little bit.

douglas_is_rad (March 13, 2008)

I haven't read the lyrics, but I would guess that these guys are referring to a soul in the free thinker/artistic sort of way. I doubt anyone in that band believes there is some sort of tangible soul that exists. The fact that they refer to a soul in their music does not subscribe them to some sort of theology-sans-deity. I would actually pat them on the back for attempting to reclaim the word soul from religious context.

Further more, the way you describe the lyrics in your review makes me think that they are merely denouncing monotheistic religions. You automatically assumed that this made them atheist. Just because they denounce judaism, christianity, and (I assume) islam does not mean they cannot believe in a less centralized and more personal religion.

SloaneDaley (March 13, 2008)

that being said the band could believe in a higher power and not religious dogma but if you look at the discourse of humanists/freethinkers/atheists etc. reason and logic are upheld above all else.

SloaneDaley (March 13, 2008)

Logic is the cornerstone of any thought system. Are you entirely sure that you know what you mean when you say logic?

yes I'm referring to logic in terms of philosophical logic, and using that to form one's understanding of the world and form arguments on that level. It isn't inherent at all.

I don't think any atheist would have a problem with any theist arguing for the existence of God using a logically sound argument because that is certainly plausible. It is when people go beyond that and preach dogma about things like "heaven" and whatnot that this song attacks. what bI'm saying in the review is the assertion that there is a "soul" contains equally flawed logic as to say there is such a thing as "heaven" or "god says you must brush your hair four times a day" because it cannot be argued soundly.

sugarfull (March 12, 2008)

Logic is the cornerstone of any thought system. Are you entirely sure that you know what you mean when you say logic?

SloaneDaley (March 12, 2008)

I guess what I was trying to say and didn't with the soul thing is there is "Beyond Reason and Logic" seems to me to point toward atheism because reason and logic are two of the cornerstones of atheist thinking and the idea of a soul is a rather theist term regardless of denomination

sugarfull (March 11, 2008)

Why is it that there are all these Swedish bands that sing in English?

nocigar (March 11, 2008)

a lot of Christians scare me.

douglas_is_rad (March 11, 2008)

Soul - n - The principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.
- Deeply felt emotion, as conveyed or expressed by a performer or artist.

The concept of an entity that is distinct from, yet related to, the physical human body goes back beyond both Christianity and Judaism. I think that by using these terms in their Atheist music that they are wrestling the meaning of the word soul away from the Judaeo/Christian/Muslim faiths and back to its use as a neutral term.

Also, solid review, I'm thinking about picking this up. I do love socially aware hardcore, and I like what I hear on their MySpace.

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