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Review: Negative

 ANORECTIC, 2006, Roadrunner

 Pop Rock, Hard Rock

 5 von 7
5 von 7 Punkten
 J.A., 23.09.2006

 "It can be that you're in relationship and can feel anorexic, and that you're just fading away - the love is just fading away and if you read the lyrics of the new album, you can see what that word in the different parts means."
-Snack (Keyboards), July 23rd 2006

With their first two albums having sold Gold in their native Finland, Negative, all of whom hail from Tampere are onto a winning formula. To date, the band have toured Germany, Austria, Finland, and Japan, and have played festival slots in several other countries. Earlier this year (2006), the band toured alongside Finnish favourites HIM and The Rasmus, both of whom have enjoyed massive success in Mainland Europe.

Anorectic, the band's third Album, was recorded in the boys' home city of Tampere, and includes amongst other things, a guitar solo recorded at the Särkäniemi Tower, a landmark dominating the Tampere skyline, an experience which the band's lead guitarist Larry Love has described as "a fucking awesome experience."
Produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa, who has previously worked alongside bands including H.I.M., The 69 Eyes, Lordi etc, Anorectic promises to challenge the perceptions of their existing fans, and hopefully alert music fans to what they are missing, with the band returning to their punky roots.

To understand where the band is coming from, it is worth reminding oneself as to the band's previous releases.
According to the band's vocalist Jonne Aaron, the songs on the first album: War of Love (1997) (produced by Lex Luthor and Jarno Alho) were written over a 6 year period, and although he considers the sound to be chaotic, he believes that, nevertheless, it is a good representation of the band's early days. The first single from this album, THE MOMENT OF OUR LOVE, has reached almost platinum sales here in Finland, almost a record, and the addition of Snack/Nakki to the band in 2003 represented yet another turning point in the evolution of the group. Under the guidance of the legendary producer, TT Oksala (H.I.M., The 69 Eyes, Lordi…), the band's second album SWEET AND DECEITFUL was recorded in 2004. This time, Jonne Aaron recalls how "The album is a tight entity, the sound is more powerful". The first single from Sweet and Deceitful was FROZEN TO LOSE IT ALL, was chosen as it showcased Snack's keyboard skills at their best, and Jonne believes the general sound is somewhat 'familiar' to the band's existing fans.
In general, it is argued that of the two first albums, War of Love is much more memorable than its successor, with perhaps only 3 tracks- Frozen to Lose it All and Until You're Mine, the latter featuring vocals by Ville Laihiala of Sentenced/Poisonblack fame.
And so perhaps it is in good taste that Anorectic has followed the lead of War of Love in the development of its sound…

The first single from the new album, "Planet of the Sun" in all fairness, could have come straight from the previous album. Here the band has chosen to go for the most radio-friendly song, rather than one which represents the band in the best possible way. That said however, the introduction explodes into a cacophony of musical textures - the guitars and keyboards merge perfectly, and Jonne's vocals are much stronger than before, with his lyrics tainted with bitterness.
However, this does not detract from the band's entertainment value. The overall sound is a great representation of the camaraderie and the talent of these 6 young musicians, especially Larry and Sir Christus, whose guitar playing is consistently powerful.

The B-Side to the PLANET OF THE SUN single, Heroine is a different story altogether, and for someone accustomed to the sound of Sweet and Deceitful, it may not be to their immediate liking. The beat is strong, the guitars whining, and Jonne practically snarling the lyrics, this song creates the image of a hardened rock and roll band. The sound is consistent to the band's early material, and as a fan of the 'real' rock and roll sound, this is something which came as a very pleasant surprise. Someone watching live performances of the Sweet and Deceitful material unfortunately misses the passion and enthusiasm that one would find in watching a live performance of the songs from War of Love, with particular mention to songs such as Naïve, Last Hero and Misery, all of which are consistently hard, and fast, but yet, which are still emotive as any power ballads such as Still Alive and Angels Won't Lie.

Continuing the theme of Ballads, "A Song for the Broken Hearted" has desperate lyrics, with the main musical focuses being the piano rather than the guitars. The vocals are strong, and the melody that they follow is consistently gentle, with several rises and falls. The main focus of the song however is the guitar solo, which is followed by a bridge not unlike that which appears in Guns n Roses' "November Rain".
An American voice, snarling "hey arsehole, you're on the wrong fucking frequency" introduces us to "Sinners Night/ Misty Morning", a song which evokes a true rock and roll vibe - with pianos, and bluesy guitars. The vocals, yet again are strong, and in keeping with the rock'n'roll theme, there are the essential "ooh ooh"s. The chorus is lively, and despite the song's title, the overall mood is positive. As usual, Larry provides the guitar solos, although this particular one lacks substance, and its effect is covered partially by the other performers.

"Swans" begins with an impressive scale by an orchestra teamed with drums and guitars in order to create... tempo changes in the bridge before the chorus.... again the vocals are smothered by the accompaniment. The strings and guitar combination create a sense of desperation. As Jonne Aaron says in one interview, the vocal scales required for the album were demanding, and overall, it would seem that maybe his vocals could have been elevated slightly, because even though the instrumental parts of the album.

Overall, it is clear that Negative have come a long way. Their sound has matured, and developed into something unique, and quite unrecognisable to anything heard on the previous album. With a tour of Germany coming up in November, and the new single having gone straight to Number 1 in Finland, it is clear that Negative have come far.

  1. Arrival
  2. Glory of the Shame
  3. Reflections
  4. One Last Shot
  5. Fading Yourself
  6. Planet of the Sun
  7. A song for the Broken-hearted
  8. Sinners Night/Misty Morning
  9. Swans
  10. Stop F*cking around
  11. Embracing Past
  12. We can't go on
  13. In Memoriam (Immortal Peace)

¬ Negative
¬ Jonne Aaron Liimatainen
¬ Jukka Kristian Mikkonen
¬ ANORECTIC (eng.)
¬ 07.11.2006 deu | eng
¬ 23.07.2006 deu | eng
¬ 23.07.2006
¬ 16.06.2007
¬ 18.09.2007

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