Published May 27, 2016The press release for Vancouver duo Aanthems claims Fugazi as the members' favourite band — "but we still love Bryan Adams."
While you won't find any epic piano balladry on this four-track EP, brothers Ryan and Geof Dolejsi do manage to marry Fugazi's jittery post-punk fury with hooky '80s guitar riffs. Although those two styles make strange bedfellows — the entire DC scene was basically a reaction to hooky '80s guitar rock — Aanthems make the combination feel like a natural fit.
Working with just bass, drums and shouting, the pair recorded this second EP in their practice space. While the lo-fi origins make for a good story, the finished product has more in common with fist-pumping stadium rock. Both "Mike Mikey" and "While We're Still Breathing" are emblematic of their "do it or die trying," featuring choruses that are at once determined yet exasperated.
In that sense, Aanthems bear a striking resemblance to fellow Rain City duo Japandroids. Yet, where that band aims to overwhelm with their wall of sound, Aanthems thrive on space and the tension it builds in their music.
Rough around the edges, Die Every Night nevertheless lays out Aanthems rock'n'roll MO in a brisk 15 minutes that only whets appetites for a full-length. (Independent)