Anorexic Beauty Queen - This Little Light (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Anorexic Beauty Queen

This Little Light (2006)


My very first introduction to Syracuse music came at a show at the now-closed Furnace, some four years ago. A slightly intimidated 16-year-old, I walked into an unfamiliar space filled with unfamiliar people. I was there for This Day Forward and Alexisonfire, but the music had already started by the time I got there. The room was dimly lit and about 75 people were quietly watching Anorexic Beauty Queen on stage.

They projected a warm and inviting atmosphere, and as I remember, the set was one full of melody and instrumental pieces that wound together for a tight and enjoyable set that served as a great prelude for the bands to follow.

Cut to four years, countless shows, and thousands of albums later -- I hadn't heard the band again since that night. No shows, no albums, no nothing. And unfortunately, This Little Light has done little, if anything, to make me regret the decision of not seeking the band out sooner.

Maybe they're just better live, maybe they've regressed in that period of time, but one thing's for certain: They fail to make an impression. Singer Mike Watson's oft-nasally delivery is a speed bump to enjoying this record, but not an impassible one. Certain moments on the record bring out its charm, as "Soon, I Promise" bouncily illustrates. The rough-around-the-edges pop-punk track mixes elements of old Saves the Day with its own melodic elements to create a simple but enjoyable formula that many of the other songs could benefit from. "We're Coming Around…" takes a bit of a different approach with a much slower and much more subtle sound, but past those two tracks, there's really not a whole lot to get excited about.

Watson's voice can become pretty grating, and there's not a whole lot of artistic ingenuity to make the songs interesting, rather there's seemingly three musicians going through the motions of what could be an otherwise engaging album. There's some swells of great atmosphere that quickly pass for long troughs of boredom. Notes that aren't hit, instrumental opportunities that are missed, and an overriding feeling that there isn't much of that at all.

When I think of this band, my first memory will always be that dimly lit room that was eventually made to feel like home for me. I'll see the faces of strangers that have become some great friends, and I'll remember This Day Forward, who beyond that set, had a ton of great records to offer. For Anorexic Beauty Queen, at least now -- the same cannot be said.