Maybe it’s because I’m rapidly closing in on 50, but when I listen to Anklebiter’s new release, I Will Wait, I hear echoes of the early-80s synthpop on which I cut my electro-musical eyeteeth. I pick up senses of gritty, Architecture & Morality-era OMD; the jerky, sequenced rhythms of New Order: the grey-sky pall of Depeche Mode once they realized that depression is more widely marketable than poppiness; even artful hints of Art of Noise. But it’s not just nostalgia at work here. Tanner Volz’s often grim, sharply angular songs can pack infectious hooks, and his array of sounds is decently varied while maintaining a distinct mechanical edge. The title track, one of the higlights here, also blends in a strong introspective sense that manages to not feel out of place. And speaking of highlights, I just fall into the slow groove of “132,” which feels fantastically slick, a scene cut from an android detective flick.
Admittedly, there are places where Volz loses me with too much unfocused noise (“O’Bannon”) or an overly thin feel (“Hawk Is Tits”) but they’re definitely the exception. I Will Wait offers up good, well-crafted laptop electronica–developed in part, by the way, while Volz was laid up with a “massively broken leg”–with depth that stands up to repeat listens. I’m looking forward to more interesting work from Anklebiter.
Available from Tympanik Audio.