O Pioneers!!! / The Anchor - Split [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

O Pioneers!!! / The Anchor

Split [7 inch] (2008)

Triumph of Life

This split 7" between O Pioneers!!! and the Anchor is actually my introduction to both bands. Yeah, yeah, I know -- how could I have never listened to a band who named one of their songs "Punknews Is Stoked"? Maybe I'll shave tonight or throw out one of my plaid shirts as self-punishment.

Anyway, O Pioneers!!! only contribute one song here, but it's a doozy. "Summers in Necro Norway with Ryan" exemplifies a line Ben wrote in his review of the band's split with Bomb the Music Industry!: "...they take aim at personal politics and people who hurt their relationships by making poor decisions." O Pioneers!!! literally questions the roles their friends (or other people) take in life, and how much those roles are actually amounting to: "Who do you want to be? Be a doctor, be a lawyer, be a street punk drinking forties for the rest of your life -- who do you want to be?" The song would be nothing, however, if it wasn't delivered the way the band does it: with an awesome amount of passion and aplomb. There's this certain upbeat and fun nature at the beginning that slowly dissipates when the song's fast, Against Me! circa Reinventing Axl Rose-ish pace (a comparison I see isn't uncommon with their earlier material) transitions into a dynamic and forceful manifesto. Ben was also right when he said that they have this surprisingly full-band sound despite only being a two-piece. They ravage their chords with all the distortion and emotion of a later Jawbreaker creation, and it's great.

The Anchor also sing about their friends in a similar way, at least on the first song with "This Is for My Friends": beginning positive lyrically and musically, but then delving into a sadder cross-section: "He had too much, said it was just a dividend. But it was nothing in the end." Nonetheless, it seems that their the mood is generally more care-free and feel-good. Between "This Is for My Friends" and "Truant Tensions," the Anchor may be one-upped by O Pioneers!!!'s powerful punch, but their sound definitely isn't bad, entrenched firmly in the gruff, whiskey-tinged No Idea / Latterman camp.

O Pioneers!!! - Summers in Necro Norway with Ryan
The Anchor - This Is for My Friends
The Anchor - Truant Tensions