I can admit that I purchased this album without much hesitation solely due to the fact that Mitch Clem did the artwork for this. The day this album arrived in the mail, I put it in my CD player and gave it a spin, probably figuring it’d just be something cool to own, with no further action being taken on the matter. While that remains to be seen in the long run, this is one solid album.
Let’s get this out of the way now: The Anchor in no way reinvents any kind of wheel. I’m not sure if that was the band’s intent, but it’s not a drawback in any form. This is a shining example of an album anyone can just put on and have a good time. Even the song “Last Call...” starts off with the sound of a can of beer being opened, so the album fits perfectly with a cold one (or two).
The Anchor appears to be a dual-vocalist band, with J. the bassist taking lead vocals on most of the tracks. Both vocalists possess a gruff vocal delivery that seems to be all the rage nowadays. That being said, the vocals always sit nicely within the instrumentation, so not too many sour notes are to be heard. When both vocalists sing, they complement each other nicely and there is a distinction between the two, however slight it may be.
As for the sound of the band? I would describe the songs on this self-titled album as a mix of Off with Their Heads and Dillinger Four. The songs are generally upbeat, with the grit of ramshackle punk rock. The intros to “That’s the Last Time I Put My Corpse in That Morgue” and “Hot Dogs + Vodka” are so similar that I initially thought this might have been a compilation of their songs with alternate takes, but lo and behold, they are supposedly two different songs. Funny, as I consider “Hot Dogs + Vodka” as one of the standout tracks on here, along with “Witches Ain’t So Bad” and “Clocks and Balls.” There is even an extra track tacked onto the end of “Yachting on a Bass Boat,” if that gets you hot.
From what I have read, this is apparently a limited edition (200 pressed) advanced copy of the album, which may mean this will be released on a larger scale. My copy came like a miniature version of a vinyl album, with the CD coming in a clear plastic sleeve with the cover art and track listing being a folded sheet, and a mini-poster/lyric sheet contained within. The Mitch Clem artwork depicts the band members, with the drummer on the recording being mentioned in small print. This is an impressive presentation of the album, considering another iteration of this album is yet to come.
I would recommend to all the ‘Org faithful to get a hold of this album, in whatever fashion (although I would suggest supporting the band by buying it). This could easily fit in with most of the bands that are mentioned quite often here. Maybe I’m a little late to the party with this band, but I’m sure glad I showed up, case in hand. Hope to see you there.