Mess+Noise single review: No Anchor, ‘Wolves Bite And Disappear’, January 2010

No Anchor, 'Wolves Bite And Disappear' artworkNo Anchor
Track: Wolves Bite And Disappear

1 Track (2009, Independent) [listen here]

An introductory cymbal roll heralds the lupine chase, while a lazy beat’s pace is quickened by the crashing of Alex Gillies’ cymbals. The protagonist’s tale of woe – “He runs through the forest, blood on his hands/Blood on his face/Blood on his clothes” – is sighed by Ian Rogers, before he erupts with four desperate, distorted repetitions of the song’s title.

Brisbane’s No Anchor affect a foreboding atmosphere of tension and release, compacted into barely two-and-a-half minutes. Released as a free download on the ‘They Don’t Know Unless You Tell Them’ compilation, ‘Wolves’ is the product of the band’s last recording sessions as a duo (as of late 2009, they’re operating as a dual-bass trio). With that in mind, Rogers’ double-tracked wattage during the song’s climax is a fearsome indicator of what’s to come. Two high-gain bass guitars playing the same part in unison is appealing enough on paper, but the resultant cacophony stuns the ears into paying attention.

This, I’m sure, is the intended response. Perhaps Rogers has always envisaged No Anchor’s bass parts mimicked by another; his fondness for double-tracking is evident throughout the band’s short recorded history. Now that it’s a thunderous, improbably beautiful reality – and content in the knowledge that this final outtake remains thrilling after 50 listens – I look to their future output with excitement, and some degree of fear for my ears. Which again, I’m sure, is the intended response.

[Published on Mess+Noise, 18 January 2010]

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