500 Años… Annex Interview + Melu LP Review!
DIY musicians Annex from the Texas/Mexico border have finally released their sophomore LP Melu! Mastered by Daniel Husayn at North London Bomb Factory, the album is being released by Inflammable Material Records(EU), Adelante Discos (US) and Occult Whispers Records (US). Their sound has changed a little since their last release, and I think fans are going to be very pleasantly surprised by it!
“500 Anos” opens the album with unexpected noise effects over creeping deathrock guitar lines. The track builds itself up as it goes on, making me want to dance, and the ends in a ghostly way which feels ominous. “Modern Age” comes in with a more upbeat sound– and this is where we first hear Nikole’s take-no-shit vocals on the album! Flowery and fast shoegaze influenced guitar bounces off the punk elements beautifully.
“Red Tide” harkens back to their original tribal sound, turned up to 11. Nikole leads this song with her aggressive, driven voice. It has a very dark, angry, emotional energy to it, truly feeling like an anthem. “Mal Futuro” is an outstanding combination of anarcho-punk/deathrock and dance, I can’t deny this is one of my favorites on Melu. Echoing chants, 80s postpunk guitar, fast beat, it has everything I love!
The party continues with “New Light”, opening with more fast paced instruments and fun, Bauhausian guitar effects and coming off as tremendously spooky! Nikole’s high pitched yet aggressive voice strikes over the dark danciness of the guitar, bass and drum lines so naturally. “Melu”‘s namesake is simultaneously a big highlight on the album. Like the first track there are no vocals, but the song perfectly encapsulates the varying sounds the album has to offer. Layers and layers of different dark, trippy effects ranging from psychedelic to downright spooky.
“Transient” opens with fast, intimidating drums followed by a dark intro before the vocals come in to bring it to the next level. I just love the haunting way Nikole’s voice echoes “Transieeeeeent!” The most peculiar thing about this song is probably its strange ending you’ll have to hear to believe. “El Maniqui” is probably the closest thing on Melu you’re going to get from Annex’s old material because the first half of the song is full of that traditional anarcho-deathrock-punk badassery we’ve come to know. However, once Nikole’s vocals end we’re left with a dark jam session that slowly morphs into a dark punk psych hybrid.
“Covens” is another song that combines a shoegazey danciness with harsh deathrock/anarcho-punk in a way that feels so natural coming from Annex. It’s refreshing to hear such pleasant melodies mixed with the edge that drew us in the begin with. “Strob” is another one of my favorite tracks on Melu because of how fucking powerful it is. Really strong Cure-esque bass line with more scratching, creeping guitar effects getting faster and faster until Nikole’s voice breaks it all down. The lyric “Hard to ignore” defines the song as a whole. It has some of my favorite guitar lines on the whole album.
Melu finishes out with something completely different in the form of “Las Cruces”. It even opens with Nikole harmonizing in “la la la”‘s! They managed to create something truly uplifting without compromising much of their traditional, darker sound. The track finishes out with the sound of a loud, thumping heart. Such a great way to end the album!
The album is available digitally through their Bandcamp, but pre-orders for the limited edition white vinyl record with poster are available through Her Corrosion!
On to my interview with the band: