Anonymous One - Smash / Soak / Alright - Stereo Stickman

Anonymous One Smash / Soak / Alright

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Appearing as the perfect fusion of nostalgia and that which is less familiar, far less predictable – Smash is the first of three tracks from Anonymous One, and it’s an addictive joy to stumble upon. Anyone with an inherent desire to hear that melodic-grunge-rock sound reignited alongside of some totally honest and endlessly appealing songwriting will fall head over heels for this.

The sound is all at once gritty and delicate – the title implies weight, angst, attitude; the song itself toys with that idea by means of the lyrics, the story-line, and certain moments of vocal delivery. Elsewhere though, the melody and the instrumentation are notably gentle, smooth, easy to get into. In addition, the way the song has been structured keeps that level of interest and entertainment strong throughout. The verses have a softly spoken but keenly anticipating level of energy about them, and the hook has that smash – for lack of a better word. Later on, the middle 8 completely redirects you and offers even more in the way of unexpectedness.

Everything fits well, adding various elements to the level of influence, but at the same time – furthering this sense of character and originality that quickly becomes a central quality of the music. I felt a dash of Smashing Pumpkins – the heaviness and the gentleness combined work towards this – also a hint of some other big alternative rock names from a simpler time. It’s something of a breath of fresh air right now. A total pleasure to discover a song of this nature that has been written with so much individuality and appeal.

Showcasing a totally different approach to expression, Soak is an acoustically driven song with a notably emotional and quite poetic story-line. The sound feels familiar at this point, regardless of the variation in set-up – the leading voice, the grunge-esque recording style, the prominence of those guitars – it makes sense within the short collection, but it also brings something refreshing to the stage, and in a completely different way to the opener.

As the song progresses, the soundscape evolves to be bigger and brighter, the guitar work adds a superb further dynamic to an already absorbing and entrancing piece of music and performance. The song drives itself on a few key elements – a few moments of memorable melody, the guitar sound, the doubled vocals, the title and concept – it utilises simplicity to make its point, which in turn makes the whole experience connect in a strangely soothing way. It’s very easy to relate this to your own journey, which is how great songs generally make you feel – as if they were written purely for you; whoever and wherever you may be. These crucial characteristics as mentioned become familiar early on, comforting in the way that any soft-rock acoustic offering should be, and later building to be something multi-layered and passionate.

Alright follows on and feels like the perfect third choice. Perhaps a little less striking as those which came before, but perfectly easy to escape into. The ambiance has a mellow energy and musical delicacy that’s pretty mesmerizing to witness. It makes you crave the live show in some respects, but it also makes for a go-to track for when the world gets a little too noisy.

Not having that attention grabbing touch of volume actually works in the song’s favour. There’s a poetic softness here again, the short nature of the verse lines and the single note melody that descends at the end really work to imprint these ideas in your mind. It’s a beautiful song, well-captured as a moment of passionate musicianship and thoughtful writing, and actually a personal favourite after just a couple of listens. As a fan of Kid Mud, Built To Spill, Smashing Pumpkins, The Pixies, there’s something about this sort of performance and this style of songwriting that just connects so naturally and authentically. I’ll be eagerly awaiting a longer project under this alias.

Find & follow Anonymous One on Soundcloud.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Manchester-born Musician & MA Songwriter

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