Death to Anders - Fictitious Business
Record Label: None
Release Date: January 28, 2008
In the world of college rock, there are many hit or misses. You have the bands like O.A.R., Dave Matthews, and Jack Johnson that the frat kids in their crooked Yankees hats drool all over, but then you also have your more appreciated indie/alternative acts that sometimes unfairly fall into this category as well. Bands like The Strokes, Cold War Kids, and Neutral Milk Hotel are listened to by many misunderstood college students, but those bands usually take a backseat to the previous artists mentioned.
If you agree with this first paragraph, and possibly even fall into that second group mentioned, then meet Death to Anders. This four piece group out of Los Angles, California is really quite a mystery when it comes right down to it, because many of the songs on their first full length sound as if they could have been sung by different groups entirely. The first track of Death to Anders' second full length Fictitious Business (the track also entitled “Fictitious Business”) sets the pace very well with an effortless, but stunningly smooth guitar piece which eventually cuts into vocals by frontman Rob Danson. It's clear this crew is big on Sonic Youth with the intro to the second song on the album entitled “Ghost Rock.” The band opens the track with a simple drum fill that continues on to a gritty guitar piece that would make Thurston Moore proud. What was very noticeable after three or four tracks was the simplicity of what Death to Anders does, but they still manage to sound different and fresh along the way. You get your first taste of the folk side of the band with the fourth track on the album “Great Plains States.” The song is catchy in the way many folk songs are and still manages to keep its credibility with strong lyrics about remaining best friends while traveling through the Great Plains.
Yet another fresh thing that Death to Anders bring to the table is vocals. Danson’s voice seems at times to be all over the place while still remaining calm and aware of what he is doing. Backing vocals by utility man Nicholas Ceglio are also superb on the album as well, and he even gets a taste of fronting the band in songs like “Man of 1000 Regrets.” While his voice is above average, the band is smart for sticking with Danson at the lead. Lyrically, the band sings about things that can be under appreciated at times such as friendship but could also go as far as to telling the story of an ex-convict named Mooney Stegg. There are a few songs about love and lust on the album, but they steer far from the cliché side of things.
As an end result, Death to Anders know who their fans are and who their new fans will be with this album. What they have created is an album that will gain them a bigger following around numerous universities nationwide, and rightfully so. The next time you are in the mood to think while listening to your music, you should really give this a spin. It beats the hell out of O.A.R. right?