Album Review: Birds of Tokyo – Anchor

Birds of Tokyo, an alternative rock band hailing from Perth, Western Australia, has released their third EP, Anchor, which has earned them the twenty third spot for the Australian ARIA awards. Although they began in 2004, Birds of Tokyo didn’t release their debut album, Day One, until 2006. They have since then been domestically well-received with each of their studio albums making it to the top 100 of the ARIA charts–three of which (being their latest ones) hold the top three spots. Despite this, their EP albums haven’t fared as well although it is by no means any indication of their skill and talent as a band.

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Anchor only consists of four songs, but each one is quite distinctive in the sense that their styles are incredibly different in terms of sound. The first half of the EP is more mellow with gentle instrumentals and soft-spoken lyrics–a style that is comparably similar to that of oldies rock. The vocals, done by Ian Kenny, isn’t anything like the vocals typically associated with main stream artists or bands. It isn’t powerful, distinctive, or unique, but it’s soothing effects simultaneously contrast and complement the instrumentals throughout the EP, which can range from light to heavy and upbeat. As it nears the end of the album, it not only becomes more prominently upbeat but there is a lot more use of the synthetic keyboard which may come off as more awkward and noisy–especially in the last track “Touch the Screen”.

Despite the occasionally off-putting instrumentals, Birds of Tokyo’s EP Anchor is highly enjoyable as a whole. The lyrics aren’t incredible, but they are well thought out and Kenny’s voice performing alongside the instrumentals more often than not emphasizes the grandeur of life and the relationships individuals hold with others and themselves.

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