Showbread - Anorexia
Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records
Release Date: May 13, 2008
"Is this all we get for our lives?"
-Ivory Mobley returns with a screaming cry on Anorexia
Showbread’s double album opus Anorexia Nervosa is here: the album I have most looked forward to, hoping for a return to form for the boys from Guyton. The first disc, Anorexia, is really good, a collection of songs that shows progressive maturity by a band that showed immense potential in their past. At times hardcore, at others soft and sweet, Anorexia is a wonderful album. The vocals are superb. Josh Dies has returned to screaming, which many fans felt was lacking in Age of Reptiles. His voice shows versatility, from the guttural vocalization present throughout the album to the gentle vocals found in “The Sky (Alpha).” His voice may have not changed much, but this album showcases his voice better than ever. For the first time without his counterpart Ivory Mobley (who only shows up on a few songs this time for guest appearances), Dies takes on nearly all the vocals with poise and skill.
Musically, the album is often reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails. Synthesizers are ever-present on the album, and Anorexia slows down on many parts to insert strange noises (for example, a child’s creepy laugh can be found in “The Journey”). The guitars are crunching, the drums are pounding, and despite the slower parts, Anorexia is still a great album to “rock out with,” if that is something a listener might like to do. The album closer, “The Beginning,” is a beautiful instrumental with a gentle piano playing in the foreground, hinting at the epic closer found on Nervosa.
The lyrics are excellent. Though they are not in the album itself, they can be found at showbreadsanorexianervosa.com. Reading through them, they fit the story absolutely perfectly. Dies impressed me with his ability to write from a different perspective, as in “The Pig.” Showbread may have slightly disappointed me with Age of Reptiles in the lyrical area, but Anorexia is an improvement even to No, Sir Nihilism is Not Practical.
"Don’t I deserve the world after building building building? / You dangle happiness before me yet keep it out of reach / My well is dry and still I try to fill it up I seek and seek and seek / Nothing lasts except the empty swallowing my soul / But I will rise above this world and I will fill my holes”
- "The Pig"
Despite the praise I’ve given to the musical and lyrical aspects of Anorexia, they are not even the best part. It’s the story that truly shines. The story is about a girl named Anorexia who decides to build a tower. While she is building, many characters come to visit her, including a goat, a pig and finally a lamb. The story is a spiritual journey of sorts that ends with Biblical imagery similar to Chronicles of Narnia, with Jesus appearing as a Lamb to rescue the girl from her journey to the sky. Downloading this album is not justice; the story completes the album and is to be read along with listening to Anorexia. The time periods shown in the story coincide with music exactly (the best example being “The Flies”), which is an astonishing accomplishment and displays Showbread’s creativity ability.
Anorexia is truly an enjoyable album, where Showbread returns to glory, glory that faded with Age of Reptiles. Highlights include, “The Pig,” “The Journey,” “The Sky (Alpha)” and “The End.” This is an album like Underoath’s Define the Great Line, an album that heads into different territory, as well as an album that showcases music’s ability to weave a story.