Free Your MindAround seven months ago, Phoenix-based rockers Anarbor released The Natural Way, a four-track EP with poppy hooks, guitar riffs and driving drum beats. (Check out my review). At the time the foursome had just graduated from high school and were looking to push their musical careers in lieu of pursuing college. Seven months later it looks like their plans have been working as they’ve been touring since mid-February on the natioanl Take Action! tour, performing from New York to Austin to San Diego. And March 10th marks the release of their second EP, the seven track Free Your Mind. Free Your Mind is a lot like The Natural Way – and not just because the two albums share two tracks - with the four young band members using a seemingly unending well of youthful energy to drive their music through the 23 minute album.

They’ve got a pretty straightforward “stick-it-to-the-man” attitude, with lead singer Slade Echeverria declaring proudly “I’ll sell my songs but never my soul!” and following it up nicely with “What the fuck happened to rock and roll?” Free Your Mind is an album that is looking to explain just that. As guitarist Mike Kitlas explains “We don’t record any instruments in our songs that we don’t play live, we are going for a very raw and real sound for this record.” In that respect, they’ve succeeded. The songs manage to be raw and real without sacrificing production value. It may be coincidence, but the best tracks on the album are the two that were also included on The Natural Way – the lusty “The Brightest Green” and the reflective “Passion For Publication” in which a teenage lead singer explains that “when you wake up hungover, you wish you were sober.”

Last year, after listening to their four-track The Natural Way, I looked forward to their feature-length album. And after listening to their five new tracks, I have the same appreciation for these musicians. If they’re producing this level of quality in their teens, I’m anticipating great things in the future.

Zach’s Rating: 8 (out of 10)

To purchase Free Your Mind, visit Amazon

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