Monday, February 22, 2010

Review: Andrew Anderson "As Long As This Thing's Flyin'"

Mix in a voice like Freedy Johnston, an attitude like Johnny Cash, and the raw sting of Social Distortion, and you get a close approximation of Andrew Anderson. It is easy to see why Mike Herrera (frontman for MxPx and Tumbledown - the latter reviewed here) took such an interest in this unique singer/songwriter from Idaho (now in Austin).

Anderson's latest, "As Long As This Thing's Flyin'", is a truly engaging piece of art. While he will dazzle you with his impeccable fingerpicking on acoustic guitar and mandolin, it is the classic punk rock arrangements and cynical tone that make each song a compelling listen. Anderson is impressively versatile with his voice - he can be bold and aggressive when he has to be, but he can also be gentle and sincere. He puts in the effort to make the voice and the music match the message in each song. Best of all, Anderson is not immune to writing a memorable melody and he doesn't clunk up his songs with throwaway lyrics.

The opening track, "Once Met A Girl" embodies all this artist is capable of, blending country, bluegrass, folk, pop, and punk to create a distinctive sound he can call his own. Another highlight, "Necessary Casualties" (video featured below), bemoans the political system that is impotent to break viscous cycles. "Damn It Man", my favorite track in the bunch, is the perfect 'feeling sorry for myself' anthem. "Hell On Earth" sounds like a lost track by a young Johnny Cash. The title track closes the album, a contemplative ballad with a surprise assortment of piano, acoustic guitar, and strings, that should leave you with chills.

Anderson aspires to be the next Hank Williams. Whether Hank was your cup of tea or not, I recommend you check out the refreshing and engaging sound of Andrew Anderson.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 14

Andrew Anderson on MySpace. Official site.

Check out a video for "Necessary Casualties":

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