Wednesday, March 6, 2002 @ 2:08 PM
Well, I have made a New Year’s resolution. I’ve vowed to quit frittering away my life and get my reviews in to KNAC in some semblance of a timely manner. It’s not bad, for a resolution, and I don’t often make them. In fact, I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution since I was thirteen, when I vowed to stop masturbating, or at least hold it down to three times a month. Actually, I gave myself a few days head start on that one, because I didn’t want to “take care of business” on Christmas Day. I figured I’d go to hell if I jacked off on Jesus’ birthday.
Anyway, as you can see, I’ve gotten off to a rather rocky start with this year’s vow of diligence. I’d like to say I forgot all about Anyone’s self-titled debut, but I’d be lying. It was always lingering in the back of my mind and at the bottom of my CD pile. Hell, I got it for free, so what? One of the many privileges we members of the Fourth Estate can brag about. I’ve had this puppy for almost three months, and yet you poor bastards in the record-buying public have to wait until the end of the month. So maybe I’m not being too terribly remiss after all!
So what, exactly, have we got here? The way I see it, we’ve got basically what every town in America with a few rock clubs has: the Local Band. You know, the one that’s been playing around for years and years at the same bars and carnivals and never seems to get anywhere, despite their loyal following. The band that makes a righteous point of not sounding like anyone in particular, and ends up sounding like everyone. Is that why they chose the name Anyone, as some sort of joke that only citizens of the Alternative Nation will get? Not funny.
Anyone is a three-piece consisting of singer/guitarist Riz (sounds like he’s a refugee of a glam band), bassist Static and drummer Nipples. Cool name, except that it’s a guy and he’s now the former drummer. He left the band months ago and was replaced by his own tech, some dude named Ransom. But nipples are a favorite topic of mine and I’ve always wanted to work them into a review, so there ya go.
I’ve heard Anyone compared to Rush, but let me tell ya, Rush they ain’t. The sound is, in a word, alternative. This thing would’ve been a hit were this 1996, and I probably would’ve liked it a lot better back in ’96, because this is above-par alternative, and also, I spent the better part of ’96 barely able to hear a thing -- story for another time.
The album starts off pretty slowly with “Giving Thrills.” A misnomer, as the song is altogether too ass-dragging to be the first track. Perhaps they were trying to be “subversive,” or some damn thing. In any case, this tune doesn’t give me too many thrills. Things improve with “Don’t Wake Me,” which moves along at a fairly brisk pace and boasts a nice little chorus hook.
There’s a lot of stopping and starting on this CD. Witness the beginning of “Hitches.” They hit quick chord, put a long delay on it, and repeat it a bunch of times. Maybe they just discovered the marvel that is delay. There’s more stopping and starting to be found and enjoyed (sarcasm) in “Running Dry.” It’s not even that bad a song (nice funky bass work), but Jesus Christ, either play it or don’t, make up your minds!
Other highlights (and there are a few) include the bouncy “Fly,” and a good slow number called “Turnaround,” which differs from the other slow tunes in that it actually sounds like it was meant to be played slow. “Kissing God” is nice and sassy and actually reminds me a bit of the funkier Aerosmith material. Not so much as you’d confuse the two, but it’s there.
Otherwise? One of the reasons I procrastinated and put this review off for so long is that that there’s really nothing special here. Think along the lines of I Mother Earth or the more serious work of Jimmie’s Chicken Shack. Riz’s voice is a little pinched and a tad nasal, but he can still sing fairly effectively. Reminds me of the singer of Love On Ice, remember them? He also plays a pretty good guitar, and isn’t afraid of solos, so that’s always a plus. Nipples, once you get past the name, is a damn good drummer, and must be the source of the Rush comparisons. He’s no Neil Peart, but he definitely likes to change things up.
On the whole though, Anyone doesn’t quite seem to come together on this album, and many of the sixteen tracks show it. Too slow, too much stopping and starting, and just an overall “alternative” sound that doesn’t fit too well these days. Top cuts are “Don’t Wake Me,” “Fly,” “Turnaround,” and “Kissing God.”
If somebody offers you a copy for free, or you actually kinda liked the mid-‘90’s, or maybe you just want to broaden your musical horizons a little, this ain’t too terrible.
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