Annabel / Dowsing – Split EP

It’s too easy to call bands emo again these days, and I’m just enough of a grumpy old to point this out. We couldn’t agree on emo then, the genre twisted around on itself at least three times before all was said and done. All of which is my longwinded way of saying that we can call both Annabel and Dowsing emo if you want, but what matters is that this is a release worth listening to.

Annabel is up first, and their music is atmospheric in a way that reminds me of My Bloody Valentine, without the dissonance, and early Pains of Being Pure at Heart, without so much Brit Pop. ‘Always’ starts with some great textured guitars and drums. The vocals fit right. ‘Forever’ is the moodier rocker, it’s noticeably faster and the distortion is cranked to the max – on EVERYTHING. I liked the journey I was taken on in just two songs.

Dowsing knows what they’re doing. My brain is struggling to place what they’re pulling from, something decidedly Midwestern and indie I think, with excellent musicianship to round it out. ‘Fistful of Hot Wheels’ starts us off with a nice “fuck you”, but the song itself is almost wistful, looking backward on a series of events that may not have panned out in the way the singer wished, and you can feel that with the guitars almost pushing a faster melody against mid tempo drums. ‘World’s Finest Chocolate’ is a shouty mini epic that makes me want to throw my beer against the world and sing along, because everything is wrong, but we’ll ultimately be okay.

The bands fit together well, the recordings are top notch… my only issue is how short this EP is. I’m going to have to go listen to more of both bands ASAP.

– Michael Kennedy

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