Call This a Reality?: A Bold New Step for Anchor Lane!

Scottish rockers Anchor Lane have been gathering a lot of steam over the last couple of years, with headline tours, festival appearances at the likes of Download and Isle of White, and supporting bands like Ricky Warwick. They’re riding a wave of momentum heading into the release of their second album. If it’s anywhere near as good as the singles have been, we’re in for a treat. Let’s check it out and see!

A great, groove-filled riff opens the album and ‘Stutter’. It gives the track an immediate bounce and sets the heavy rock tone of the album perfectly. The vocals are catchy throughout, even in the verses which is always a bit of a struggle. I can hear people singing along to the entire track live, and it’ll be awesome. The Arctic Monkeys/Royal Blood style chorus is a definite highlight of the track, though! The bridge riff is also awesome, giving off heavy Muse vibes. I can see this going OFF live and being a definite crowd favourite. It’s also a definite favourite of mine as it easily makes our playlist!

Check out our interview with the band here.

The Muse sound continues through ‘Ministry’, the opening feeling pretty ‘Knights of Cydonia’ while the rest gives off 2nd Law vibes. It’s another HUGE, stadium-filling chorus, and is almost a ballad. It’s a pretty ballsy move to have a slower song this early on a rock album, but Anchor Lane pull it off to perfection. It’s a simple yet very affective track, and another major highlight of the album.

The album’s title track has another fantastic, bouncy riff running through it. This time it’s very Royal Blood in the best of ways. It’s another song where every time the vocals are present it’s catchy as anything, but hot damn is that harmony heading into the second verse just amazing. It’s so clean and perfect, you need to stop reading this and listen to it right now. Still here? Well it also has an amazing guitar solo, so there’s that too. The outro part of the chorus with all the vocal harmonies even gave me SOAD vibes, which was a nice, unexpected surprise. Honestly, this may be my favourite track on the album and one of my favourite of the year so far. Playlisted.

‘Nitroglycerin’ opens on a heavy guitar riff before dropping back to a more Artic Monkeys style verse and chorus. It’s a damn catchy slower track again, dripping with attitude and swagger. I LOVE the higher vocals on the final chorus, too. It adds another layer to it and sounds really awesome. Another fantastic track.

‘I’ve Been Waiting’ is another good track but gives off very similar vibes to the previous track. Meanwhile ‘The Mischievous Song’ has a fun almost indie vibe to it. It’s simpler instrumentally, being more heavily lead by the bass and drums, the guitars being a little scrappier and looser. The ‘ooo’s in the chorus are of course catchy and remind me a little of ‘Bohemian Like You’. It’s just a fun track, and a nice change of pace for the album.

The distant vocals were a cool opening for ‘Choke’, making the riff exploding in after into an even bigger punch to the face. The rest of the track is just a great, straight-up rock song. It’s fast, heavy and yet massively radio-friendly. Anchor Lane have found the perfect formula and balance of hard rock and pop hooks, and it’s on display at its best in this track. It’s awesome.

‘Electric Karma’ is another bouncy, heavier indie-style track. It’s hard not to compare the band to Artic Monkeys as the vocal melodies are pretty similar a lot of times, but I would put them far and above AM in terms of talent and songwriting. This is better than anything the former Glastonbury headliners have put out in years. Not much to say about the track, it’s just another fantastic one.

‘Bitter’ is the true ballad of the album, and I love it. It’s slow, moody and builds perfectly throughout. This one reminds me more of Placebo than anything else, but that may just be because ‘bitter end’ is said so much. I also for some reason get BFMV ballad vibes. Like one of the slower tracks from Gravity or Fever. The brooding, emotional track is another one that I recommend checking out immediately. No matter what I say, I won’t do it justice, it’s so good. You might as well just check it out on our playlist, right…?

After a brief yet beautiful piano interlude, we get the final two tracks. ‘Sychophant Disorder’ is another heavy track that bears surprising resemblance to a metalcore song. From the great riff to the heaviness to the almost djent-like moments, it’s definitely the closest to metal on the album. The lyrics are also fantastic here. They have been throughout the entire album, but it feels somehow even a step beyond with this track. And it’s catchy as hell as always. It actually felt like a better closing track for the album than the actual closer, ‘I Don’t Have Another Soul to Pour’, did. I like the final track, don’t get me wrong, but it’s another track of similar stuff, while ‘Sychophant…’ was something interestingly different. Still, both tracks are amazing and the former makes our playlist!

Overall: This was phenomenal. There isn’t a bad track on the album, and some of them are some of the best tracks I’ve heard in a while. I’ve not listened to something that’s made me feel like this in a while, either. This album is going to catapult the band to the stratosphere, and it is 110% deserved. It’s going to be up there in my album of the year discussions in 11 months time, that’s for damn sure.

The Score: 9.5/10

Did you enjoy our review? Check out more from our Instagram here.