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Such Fun
Annuals
Such Fun
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

Two CD set. Raleigh, NC-based six-piece Annuals release their sophomore album, Such Fun in 2008. Co-produced by Annuals frontman Adam Baker and producer Jacquire King (Modest Mouse, Tom Waits), who produced the band's Wet ...  more »

     
   
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CD Details

All Artists: Annuals
Title: Such Fun
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Red Int / Red Ink
Original Release Date: 1/1/2008
Re-Release Date: 10/7/2008
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Style: Indie & Lo-Fi
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 886972040028

Synopsis

Album Description
Two CD set. Raleigh, NC-based six-piece Annuals release their sophomore album, Such Fun in 2008. Co-produced by Annuals frontman Adam Baker and producer Jacquire King (Modest Mouse, Tom Waits), who produced the band's Wet Zoo EP. Recorded throughout NC, Such Fun is so varied and exciting, it certainly belies the years of its young creator and his musical cohorts. Annuals have had an incredible ride since their acclaimed debut album, Be He Me, came out only two years ago. Released when the band members -Adam Baker songwriter, vocals, Kenny Florence-lead guitar/backing vocals, Mike Robinson on bass/backing vocals, Anna Spence on keyboard, piano, backing vocals plus Zack Oden-drums/guitar and Donzel Radford -drums/percussion were all around the age of 19, the album spread like a wildfire around the globe.

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CD Reviews

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E. A Solinas | MD USA | 10/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Ah, the Annuals. Such trippy, sunshiney, garbly music.

And fortunately they are the kind of bright, enthusiastic indie band that only gets better as they polish their sound -- exhibit A being "Such Fun," which does its best to live up to its title. It takes some weird trips this time -- seemingly simple songs that erupt into more complex sounds and wildly trickly indiepop, mingled with a sort of hallucinogenic Americana folk. There are moments that aren't quite "such fun," but most of them are.

It starts with a strong, powerful guitar melody that slowly begins to trickly sunshiny violins and fiery riffs. And in keeping with "Confessor's" title, there's a faint hint of organ as well. "Pack up and leave everyday/I plant the seed to rip the roots away/And I believe every word you say calls the thunder/and spooks off the pain," Adam Baker croons through a tangle of oxymoronic instrumentation.

They settle down to something far softer with the trickling, acid-tinged sweetness of "Hot Night Hounds"... which suffers frequent eruptions of blasting bass; that in turn is followed by the thumping swirls of the aptly named "Springtime," where you can practically hear the Earth's rhythms revving up again ("And every time it rains/it's the promise that it brings..."). From these songs, you can get a pretty good idea of what the rest of the album will be -- a harmonious clash between gurgly sunlit indiepop and raw indie-rock.

Some of the songs like "Always Do" have a country-folk feeling, others have a rough-hewn alt-rock feel, while some having alluringly trippy indiepop. But most of the songs sort of straddle all the fences -- we have thumping alt-rockers immersed in warbling melodies, sunny pop melodies that get invaded by cycling electric guitars, hallucinatory indie-rockers that end with acid-orchestrals and clopping hooves. The album hits its high in the finale, where the seemingly ordinary songs -- a flowing piano melody, a folksy string ballad, and a lovably jumbled pop tune -- take on a new sweetness.

Admittedly not all the songs are winners -- a couple like "Talking" feel too close to the generic rock that the music industry has always had too much of. Too little warbling, too little fusing of those seemingly overdone styles.

But fortunately these are the exceptions to the rule that "Such Fun" sets, deftly layering different styles and instrumentals as if they always belonged together. Between the evocative lyrics and the music, it makes you imagine all sorts of things -- some are all about the adrenaline-fueled mountain dances by firelight, and some sound like babbling brooks and morning sunlight shining through the trees. They definitely run the gamut in this album.

And they seem to be trying to do all they can with guitars -- we have ringing cycling guitars, folky melodies, blazing grimy riffs, and flowing countryish tunes that drift under a cloud of other instruments. Specifically: sheets of shimmering synth, churchlike organs, fast-moving drums and bass, and an exquisite little cloud of trickling piano and aching strings (which can in a pinch become squealy fiddling). We even get some weird soundclips included at seemingly random moments -- like the horse hooves that fade into handclaps.

And Baker's slightly hoarse, sweet voice just sort of weaves its way through the tightly-woven instrumentation, sounding a little plaintive in the quieter songs and like a sprightly imp in the louder ones. And he does a pretty wild job with some of these songs, singing of "tumbling down this mountain in December," eyes that won't close and hair that won't grow, and hoping that a lover will change her mind ("Maybe if I could tear off the tape/run the death from my face/an old man forgets all my songs...").

"Such Fun" suits this album, albeit with a sad undercurrent that runs under the tangled instrumentation. Definitely one to listen to, and allow to sink into your bones."
This burns hot like fire.
Storylover | Philadelphia, PA USA | 10/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am coming to this record clean. I've never listened to Be He Me, and only picked this album up on a whim. The only expectation I had was to be moderately pleased, as I am with many young indie bands. I listen to their discs, enjoy them briefly, and put them in the pile of things to be remembered now and again.

Not this disc. I keep getting chills as I find new things to enjoy here. Confessor is a great way to start the disc out--poppy, melodic, and compelling with a great vocal and a fantastic mood establisher. The opening minor chords then slide into an almost upbeat groove with a languid 70's guitar in the background...then an Eric Matthews like chord change and drum fill takes over...then a multilayered vocal comes in sweeping through like rain on a mountain...and this is just in the first song! Invention is everywhere.

This sense of innovation, invention, and sheer fun pervade the entire record. Just when I got comfortable with the sophisticated production, Down the Mountain comes on with its goofy beats backed with an almost Johnny Marr like guitar delicacy..oh, but wait, power chords jump in and cover over the delicacy...oh, then a crazy country fiddle pops up for a rollick.

My entire first several listens had my head spinning, not knowing what was coming next. But whatever came, I kept on enjoying it. Soon, I just gave myself over to these guys, not having a clue where they would be taking me, but knowing that I was going to love it as it happened.

I think that this album will appeal to folks who are adventurous in their musical tastes, who enjoy sophisti-pop like the above mentioned Eric Matthews, but also have a soft spot for the Beta Band's best moments of invention, for those who remember with a religious fervor the first time you heard Badly Drawn Boy's Hour of the Bewilderbeast, for those who are constantly amazed by Beck. I don't think this band sounds that much like any of these folks, but all of them were pioneers in their own way, busting through expectations and lifting the listener to something beyond.

Excuse me, I have to go buy Be He Me."