Published Oct 19, 2010Anagram have been regarded as one of Toronto, ON's best kept sort-of secrets for a while now, their pummelling live shows awarding them the title of one of the best live bands in the city. While the kids have been happy to keep it hush-hush, there's no reason their second full-length couldn't have them filling rooms across the country. Named for Michael Majewski (a known poster artist and a good friend of the band and the Oshawa/underground Toronto arts community who tragically lost his life in a hiking accident in BC last summer), Majewski is dark and aggressive, serving as the break in the brooding aural clouds that rolled in on 2005's horn-laced After Dark. "How It Seems" is a prime example of this, its unrelenting, bass-led attack comparable to your Dischord favourites, with vocalist Matt Mason unhinging his intense baritone into an emotional howl that's truly affecting. On "I've Been Wrong Before," the intense centrepiece of the record, the band approach cinematic with some simple guitar, crashing cymbals and gloomy post-punk bass ― powerful but still unassuming. Majewski is a beast, made of moments that are at once cause for concentrated contemplation and euphoric release, perhaps even born of those very things.
This album sounds more stripped down, but at the same time, bigger than anything you've recorded. Was this the intention while writing the record?
Guitarist Willy Mason: We have always wanted, and tried, to get our records to sound like our live shows, it just took us awhile to understand that less can be more when it comes to recording. And it helps working with the right people.
You named the album in tribute to your good friend. Was the process of making it at all part of your grieving/healing process after his loss?
Most of the songs were written before he passed, but the loss of anything or anyone who is taken from you can always put things into perspective, and certainly that hung on us and brought a sense of urgency that we had to get this record done. He was a great friend and supporter of our band, and the record wouldn't have been finished without him or his family.
Any plans to tour this record more extensively?
Things are in the works and we will see where that takes us. (Dead Astronaut)