The Natural WayRecently wrapping up a stint on the Vans Warped Tour, Phoenix-based pop-rock group Anarbor is now out touring with The Bigger Lights this month and The Years Gone By and School Boy Humor in October… oh, and they just graduated from high school. The five members of the band have been friends since grade school and started playing together in middle school. And now, instead of heading off to college together, they’re hitting the road to push their new release, The Natural Way.

And though it’s only four songs long, there’s a good deal to push here. Produced by Mike Green (Good Charlotte), the four songs have a clean mix of poppy hooks (try to keep this one from getting stuck in your head: “‘Cause late at night, wrong sounds more appealing than right”), guitar riffs and driving drum beats. In the first song alone – “Love Instead” – singer Slade Echeverria shows that he has the kind of voice that can effortlessly slide between crooning pop vocals (“Don’t trouble your pretty little head”) to slightly edgy and ragged rock anthems (“We can make it, yeah we can make it!”).

Some may say that Anarbor’s style isn’t especially new or innovative, but there’s a driving force behind their music that makes it easy to listen to. Every song is injected with a sense of urgency that propels the music forward and gives listeners a few surprises along the way. As Echeverria declares in “Love Instead”: “With imagination comes obligation.” After proving they’re imaginations with this brief release, perhaps the members of Anarbor will now feel obliged to provide a full length album with as much energy, drive and catchy lyricism as this one.

Zach’s Rating: B
Perfect For: Those always on the look out for new “up and coming” bands
Stay Away if: You’re not sure what “pop-rock” really means 

To purchase The Natural Way, visit Amazon
For more information on Anarbor, visit the band’s myspace page

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