This is a review of "This is how it is" recorded by Anechoic. The review was written by Richard Garnett in 2006.
Having originally burst on to the radar in 2003 with their brilliant and acclaimed demo “Subtractive”, it has been too long before Anechoic produced a follow up. Their original demo brought them to the attention of plenty across the industry and combined with having a member of Embrace as their manager, doors started to open. Not least support slots to massive crowds with Embrace themselves. What a bizarre experience that must have been, going from 10 people at The Vine to 10,000… got to be a slightly different vibe coming off that crowd!
Now on Hungry Kid this 6 song collection offers the next step for the band, which amongst other things has added live drums to the mix. Not to worry the long standing fans, there is still plenty in the way of warm fuzz generated by antique keyboards and the tender vocal harmonies of Butler, Leach and Lindsay. What this record does prove however is that more money spent doesn’t always mean a step in the right direction. Although there are some excellent songs on offer here, some of the naivety and charm that made Subtractive so special has been lost in the polishing process. But for new listeners this matters not a jot with such choice cuts as “Time and a Half“ and “Say When“. The former sees the band on top form with a laidback stomp about wasting your time in crap jobs. Who is there who won’t find some empathy with these sentiments?
Anechoic feel to all intents and purposes like a less guitar orientated version of those other Leeds merchants of tender Four Day Hombre. At times the new expanded sound is reminiscent of Athlete, The Frames and an underground Keane with out the chubby cheeks. Three years is a long time to wait and hardly harks of striking while the iron was hot. It remains to be seen whether lost momentum will mean this release only ever reaches the cult status of its predecessor, let’s hope not.