Saturday 22 February 2014

The Hundredth Anniversary - Wreckers

EP review by

Sometimes with smaller bands (and some bands are not meant to sell-out stadiums, it's just not in their ethos and isn't their goal), it can be difficult to track their every move unless you keep a close eye on their social media sites. This has been the case with Brighton's The Hundredth Anniversary. Since we last featured them back in 2012, there have been a couple of releases that went under our radar: another 7" through Gateshead's ace Tiny Lights label, and a free download single. So it's a pleasure to have them cross our path again, this time releasing an EP under the reliable wing of London's Odd Box records. Being a more substantial release (five tracks as opposed to the couplets and single songs we've been offered in the past), 'Wreckers' offers us perhaps a better glimpse of just what the band are about and where they are in terms of the identity of the music they make as a whole.

Guitars ring in the opening to 'It Becomes Us', and a thumping beat gives the song a big lift, especially as it doesn't follow the regular pattern. In a way it feels like they're trying to make a statement. Broadly speaking you'd say that The Hundredth Anniversary are a non-commercial indie band, but with this song they show that this doesn't mean you have to sacrifice ambition. It's a strong, powerful song, and it's anything but throwaway; care and attention is put into the lyrics and the general dynamic of the song. They follow this path again on 'Voices, Void'. Slower but no less impressive, the end section is particularly nice. In fact, if you liked the alt-rock/post-grunge sounds of the early to mid '90s then you could use that as a comparison. This vibe emanates from much of this EP, with the slightly wistful 'A Daze' having a similar feel and again making nice use of drums that don't just aim for the obvious and stick to it. A highlight comes in 'Golden', a song that could be an exercise in simplicity, using little more than crisp guitar and vocals to great effect, but they soon bolster it for the finale. They just about to stick to the formula (and by formula, we don't mean they're copying others, they have their own way of doing things and they adhere to it for much of this EP) for slightly sentimental closer 'The Den'. It's excellent that after missing out on a few songs, we find that these guys are still on such good form.

The Hundredth Anniversary's website

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