Annuals - Frelen Mas EP Review + Tour Single ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Annuals - Frelen Mas EP Review + Tour Single

Annuals - Frelen Mas CD Review2007 was a busy year for Annuals. The band kept the blogs buzzing about their tours with Bloc Party and Manchester Orchestra along with the release of a tour-only split 7" with Manchester Orchestra. Toward the end of last year, the band signed with Sony-imprint Canvasback and a new release will be coming out this Fall.

The tour single is a pretty neat piece of work as Machester Orchestra and the Annuals cover each other's tunes. The Annuals covers "Where Have You Been" and replace the sparse orchestration of the original track with an OMD-style dance track. Manchester Orchestra's cover of "Brother" reinterprets the song as a Belle and Sebastian style indie-pop song. You can listen to the original of "Where Have You Been" and the cover of "Brother" on Manchester Orchestra's MySpace page.

Frelen Mas is a digital only EP that contains 8 b-sides from "Be He Me". Aside for a cover of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot", there is nothing on this disc that is a radical departure from "Be He Me" so this disc should please most fans. In fact, the Annuals were playing "Neh Keseyi", "Ease My Mind" and "River Run" as part of their live set during their last tour.

I still get amazed at the "wall of sound" that the Annuals can build - listening to all of the sounds happening in the background of the songs on this disc, it is easy to make some comparisons to The Beatles or Pink Floyd. While The Beatles never toured behind any of their later albums, I was equally impressed that the Annuals can pull of the same "wall of sound" as part of their live show. Check out a fan-filmed video of "Brother", filmed at Bowery Ballroom in 2006.

It was a bold move to release an album of b-sides after only one release but this is a great CD which should serve as a solid stop-gap until the band's new CD is released later this year.

Annual's MySpace site
Manchester Orchestra's MySpace site