After the Anthems - This Is the Sound
Record Label: None
Release Date: September 25, 2007
Formed in 2006, After the Anthems is an alternative rock band from Owen Sound, Ontario. Their debut album, This Is the Sound is a surprisingly mature and interesting release, especially for a band that has been together only a year. Everything about it is very ambitious, from the entrancing cover art to their tendency towards five and six-minute epic songs.
The album starts off with "Everyone." I was very surprised to hear a minute and a half of instrumental bliss inspired heavily by 80's alternative like U2 and the Cure. Philip Cufio begins to sing over the captivating guitars, passionately singing impressive lines like, "Everyone from everywhere around is arriving / We heard your call / We're here to fight beside you." And the band manages to pull it off without sounding the least bit forced or exaggerated.
The whole band's sound blends perfectly with Cufio's voice, and the guitarists are very talented. They do a good job of creating uplifting, inspiring music without overdoing it. It's almost like the debut Angels & Airwaves could have made if DeLonge didn't try to make them "the biggest band in the world." It's a very honest and unpretentious album, and they have a lot of variety in their songwriting. There are fast paced, "Streets Have No Name" esque songs like "Let It In" or "Don't Let It Get Away," piano ballads ("Prelude"), and the alternative rock singles ("Believe" and "Give a Cut").
The whole album, no matter how fast or radio-friendly the song is, all comes together to create greatly inspiring and moving debut. I encourage everyone to pick this album up.