Tuesday 5 May 2015

Review: Anzi – 'Black Dog Bias'

'Black Dog Bias'

Former Stereo Junkies front man Anzi returns with his second full-length studio album in 'Black Dog Bias'. Following on the heels of the hot double A-side of 'I Let You Dive' / 'Revival' the album continues the tried and tested blend of punk rock meets industrial with an undeniable dance floor intention. The album preserves the punk rock underbelly that fans of his former band will be familiar with, but the elements of glam rock that are thrown into the mix, as well as the heavy use of electronics continue the trend from the previous album of moving in a darker and, dare I say, more goth-friendly direction that recalls acts like Orgy. Bella Morte, and Godhead.

Opening with the lead single cuts 'Revival' and 'I Let You Dive' the album goes straight for the anthemic rabble-rousing style tracks that will be this album's calling card. The chugging guitars, thunderous rhythms and Nine Inch Nails style electronics come together perfectly to create some of the strongest work Anzi has put his name to yet. This formula is continued through the likes of 'Cortex Command', 'Fear Is No Prophecy', 'Big Enemy', and 'Nuclear Sire' which provide the album with a back bone of hard and addictive songs that will prop up his live set for years to come.

'False Saints' throws in a more overt and stripped-back punk rock execution which is somewhat unnecessary, and the final track 'Delusions' comes off as a little too saccharin with its power ballad execution that lacks any of the menace that the rest of the album fostered. These provide the album with its weakest points and simply sound like derivative rock standards that lack the gravity of the rest of the album.

In terms of production this album is pretty damn good. The rock elements sound fat and beefy, while the electronics and vocals cut through them with ease. No one element has a tendency to dominate the mix at the expense of anything, but there are a few points where things sound a little too thick.

This is a very strong second album from Anzi which proves he has the skills and abilities to be a serious contender in his own right. The album is full of strong and memorable songs that will play well to a lot of audiences and will undoubtedly be easily reproduced live. Hopefully he can continue to develop and exceed this on album number three.

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