20 Watts

20 Watts Reviews Annuals’ Sweet Sister EP by jluposello
March 30, 2010, 1:22 pm
Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: ,

20 Watts reviews Annuals' Sweet Sister EP and gives it a 13/20 watts.

PREVIEW: VISIT Annuals’ MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 12/20 Watts

North Carolina’s Annuals have earned the well-deserved title of indie music’s first “blog band,” a term that’s gained quite a bit of relevance, especially in today’s scene. After gaining their notoriety via a host of rave reviews of their original sound and potential, Annuals have turned out two full lengths and a host of EPs, including their latest effort, Sweet Sister.

Sweet Sister features a much more electro-curious sound than any of Annuals’ past efforts. It’s no secret that the members all put equal effort into their host of electronic side projects, and their penchant for studio experimentation is obvious. The result is an obviously forward thinking, but hardly engaging EP.

The opener “Loxtep” features the most engaging instrumentation on the record, and is certainly a departure from the group’s original sound. It features an unmistakably Latin/island influence, lending to its being one of the more impressive portions of the record, and definitely the most memorable.

As the EP continues into “Turncloaking,” the production– the most attractive aspect of the record– makes up for some of the sonic shortcomings. The expansive soundscape of the track has an entrancing feel, but also becomes a bit too vague at times.

The listen can be described only as disengaging, and stands pale in comparison to some of the group’s past work. Stellar production aside, the writing on the record is barely memorable, and provides very few moments that stick with you once the song is finished. In short, Sweet Sister has the potential to be one of Annuals’ most notable recordings. Regrettably, however, it comes up short.

– John Luposello

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