Album review by William Dibble of Panfocal Photography
Knoxville natives Annandale start off their new album Build Your Wings with a strong start. Released on March 15, 2017, the album offers a healthy mix of hard rock in the vein of bands like Sevendust. This album, which clocks in at five tracks and eighteen minutes in length, is definitely worth listening to, even moreso if you’re into supporting the local Southern hard rock music scene!
The opening (and titular) track, “Build Your Wings”, starts off with a powerful mix of ethereal synths and keyboards and a heavy guitar track. The entrancing vocals hook you right from the beginning, with an easy-to-remember, almost anthemic chorus. Fans of call-and-response songs may also be a fan of this one, as it has several parts that feature one vocalist responding to the other. The catchy chorus is sure to attract singalongs from the audience.
“Love Hate” is a much faster, heavier song. It makes genre forays into metal, while keeping the same haunting vocals. An almost angry song about needing someone who is not good for you, this is definitely one that will please crowds. Throughout the song, it blends from the almost-metal vibe to hard rock and back seamlessly, making sure that you can both hear the words but also maintaining energy throughout. The song culminates in a guitar solo that is followed by one last chorus before finishing strong.
Despite the lyrics saying “I can’t control it”, Annandale is entirely in control of their sound and mood during the track “I Won’t Fall”. This song will leave you holding on, waiting to hear what they are going to deliver as a followup to this. “Thank You (Goodbye)” is what fans will certainly be saying after listening to the next song (at least the “thank you” part). This song relaxes the heavier tones for a bit, offering a mellower, softer song that is almost relaxing after the last three tracks. The album closes with track “Bless Your Heart”. Opening with a blistering metal riff, this track is definitely a powerful closer to a well put-together album. The song closes out Build Your Wings with a wicked guitar solo, bringing it all to a satisfying close.
The mix on the album is fantastic. The guitars, bass, drums, and vocals all stand out, and there’s even some instrument panning on some of the tracks. This technique adds a degree of depth to the album, which is something not heard in a lot of releases in this day and age. It is definitely worth picking this album up!
“Build Your Wings” is available on several platforms for streaming and purchasing from their website!