The Anniversary Devil on Our Side: B-Sides & Rarities

The Anniversary were hardly what you’d called "prolific.” In the Kansas outfit’s career, they released a total of two albums — 2000’s Designing a Nervous Breakdown and 2002’s Your Majesty — before imploding and calling it a day. Nevertheless, the emo-leaning synth pop act attracted some dedicated followers and have now given those fans the double-disc collection Devil on Our Side: B-Sides & Rarities. On disc one, the Anniversary offer demos from 1998, with the group laying down some pretty standard ’90s emo rock fare and ultimately proving they didn’t really get it together until their first full-length. As for disc two, it includes several B-sides from between 1999 and 2001, as well as various post-Your Majesty cuts. And while the former shows the group getting increasingly ambitious, the latter finds the Anniversary in the midst of an identity crisis, as the songs jump from folky balladry to acoustic hip-hop to explorations in dub and psych. Despite the shortcomings, Devil on Our Side should please more than a few fans, painting a clearer picture of the Anniversary and what they were on the verge of becoming. (Vagrant)