Album Review: Anchor & Braille – Songs For The Late Night Drive Home

Album Review: Anchor & Braille – Songs For The Late Night Drive Home

Anchor & Braille - Songs For The Late Night Drive HomeThat album title does have something of an accuracy to it. ‘Songs For The Late Night Drive Home’ is Stephen Christian’s first post-Anberlin Anchor & Braille album, and it couldn’t sound more different than his previous band. Anberlin’s surging emo/post-hardcore has been scrapped, and in its place stand ten tracks of largely minimalist electro-pop with a slight darkness that, as the title suggests, would make them ideal for a late night drive.

Christian himself certainly suits this type of music. His breathier style fits with the light pulse of a beat on ‘Chances’, while they lift the new romantic style of ‘Fatal Flaw’ to one of the best songs The Cars never wrote.

There’s a very likely chance of alienating many long-time Anberlin fans, but for more of a release, Anchor & Braille acts as a journey through a number of sedate but largely varying genres, most of which are pulled off well. ‘Live Fast, Die Young’ has a pretty good stab at tropical house, and there’s a billowing ’80s synthpop influence at the heart of ‘Detroit Stab’.

As is to be expected, there are a couple of duff moments, namely the overly clunky nature of ‘Lower East Side’ and closer ‘Still Looking’. Despite this, ‘Songs For The Late Night Drive Home’ is a surprisingly slick and well-executed album. There’s nothing on here that would top Anberlin’s best moments, but to consciously look for moments like that is probably to miss the point. Anchor & Braille is evidently meant to stand as its own identity, and judging by this album, it’s got some pretty stable footing to stand on.

3.5/5

‘Songs For The Late Night Drive Home’ by Anchor & Braille is released on 5th February on Tooth & Nail Records.

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Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)