Anquitaz – ‘Forming’ – A Debut
‘Formed on a sunny morning, after a heavy night, via many misconceptions…’
I’ve been meaning to sit down with this for a while now. A debut from two friends of mine based in Bristol, Mr. Leo Taylor and a Mr. Philip Graham.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – “He’s going to give a flawless review because it’s his mates” – and you’d be right to suggest that but, that isn’t the case. Let’s get on with this shall we.
Five tracks of sombre, thoughtful and chilled music that takes you back to the soulful, heartfelt Indie and Emo jams from the 90s and early 2000s. Forget floppy fringes for this one, this is just two blokes spilling “the feels”.
Within twenty-four hours of release earlier this year, Anquitaz had reached 700 collective plays on bandcamp and since then have been planning the next release, or so Phil told me over a pint of tasty, tasty ale.
The majority of the instrumental side of the band boasts a dulcet and sombre tone, that carries most of the EP. Track One, ‘That Way’ is a great example with its guitar loop, slow murmuring bass and drum beat plodding along.
My only real criticism is sometimes the vocals are a little drowned out to varying degrees, more so than the band’s gritty style needs them to be. An issue which is probably down to mixing and the fact that this release is the first for the pair.
That said, a little more voice projection and volume wouldn’t go a miss, but THAT said again, what they are doing does indeed work despite this.
With both Leo and Phil both producing bouts of lead and backing vocals, you get a good taste of each musician outside of instrumental output. The soft-shouted backing vocals in ‘That Way’, for example, earn a brownie point, as they contrast well with the lower lead.
‘Weight’ is another – and one of the better on the album – where there is a nice balance of both vocal sets. While the Spoken Word of ‘A View From A Platform’ is particularly enjoyable both musically and lyrically.
‘Standing on the edge, you get a great view of everything, a great view from the platform, but you see every regret, and every mistake you’ve ever made…’
While we are on that subject, lyrically the gents take you on quite a contemplative journey and on a personal level, ‘Weight’ really struck a chord with me.
However, as said I said before, I can’t help but feel that the vocals on the release in general are slightly too tame under the music. It’s not a huge problem, but the strong emotionality of the music and lyrics would arguably be a lot more hard-hitting if there was more of a balance.
The final track, ‘Forming’, is the title track and as much as I was expecting an instrumental at some point, I wasn’t expecting it to be the title track. Initially, if I’m honest, I was disappointed with this decision by Anquitaz, although, said feelings soon changed.
To put it bluntly, it’s a simple yet rather lovely piece of music that isn’t trying to break barriers or try too hard. I can only assume that this was a improvised number that came strongly of age on its own.
There we have it then, the debut from Anquitaz. No debut is perfect, but this one is certainly moving in the right direction and clearly shows the hard work put into its making. I’m only expecting better for the next release and so here’s to the next one.
Any of that sound good to you? Interested? Like your chilled Indie-Emo sounds? Appreciate honest music? Fancy something Fresh? Yeah? Then click the following direct links:
- Twitter has the bands on-going exploits.
- Whilst bandcamp has their sounds for acquisition and streaming.