Artist: Another Nation's National Anthem

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Another Nation's National Anthem - Conscious castleAnother Nation's National Anthem
Conscious castle
Red Lemon Art


EPs are often mixed blessings: they can be all over the map with regards to quality, creative direction, and sound, and even the best EPs run the risk of getting overplayed, especially if the release precedes another recording by more than a few months. That said, Convoj's self-titled EP and Cut City's "Narcissus can wait" demonstrate that EPs, when handled correctly, can stand on their own and hold their ground, and to that list I add Another Nation's National Anthem's "Conscious castle". A week or so ago, I may not have made that claim, but ANNA grow on you and the contemplative periods in a few of the songs have since ceased feeling somewhat indulgent and now feel properly settled into the compositions. "Conscious castle" unfolds in a very pleasant way, each listening revealing a layer I missed on a previous occasion. Its sound reminds me at times of The Appleseed Cast (though this claim may hold more weight in nostalgia than in fact) and Tiger Lou (especially those opening notes of "Hold, stranger (of the north)"), though ultimately escapes pigeonholing through the strength of the songwriting. Seeing what ANNA can do with five tracks and 21 minutes, I'm very interested in this band's future.
- Lars Garvey Laing-Peterson

Top tens for 2010: It's a Trap! Contributors

MP3: Another Nation's National Anthem - About your fathers

I am a big appreciator of the large gesture. Pixie Carnation and We are the Storm are two fine examples of contemporary Swedish acts achieving epic indie rock grandeur; Another Nation's National Anthem is another. The band's new EP "Conscious castle" is a concept work that flows steadily from track to track, from one climatic moment to the next; in between are moments of refined melancholy that remind me of Tiger Lou, especially on the two-part "Hold, stranger". The band's own descriptor of "massive" implies a heaviness that they lack, but they got the size part right on. Many acts have been following similar paths in the wake of Arcade Fire, most of them falling far short; ANNA succeeds with their restrained bombast and a balanced fragility/woundedness. They could probably still do more to differentiate themselves from the rabble, but I can't begrudge a song like "About your fathers" when it does it so well.

Another Nation's National Anthem - About your fathers