The Anderson Council, in a just world, would be known all over the country. They should be, by now. And with a little luck and people getting it, with this new album, they will be. Worlds Collide is the latest offering of all-original material, their second for Jem Records. This marvelous band from New Jersey has always struck me as a throwback to the “paisley underground” of the early ’80’s but, in fact, first came along a few decades later. No matter – this band, driven by the remarkable musical visions of Peter Horvath, have all the elements of what I dig most – melody, harmony, power, riffs and they never cease to amaze me.
Right out of the chute, “Collision”/”Worlds Collide” is that perfect melding of ’60’s sensibility, power-pop expertise/execution and a deadly galloping bass line with powerhouse drumming – if they stopped here, it’s good enough – that’s how instant they get to you. The acoustic guitar interplay on “Camden Town” lends a warmth to the introspective vibe of the lyrical narrative – like a toned down Smithereens; “Mrs. Kirkby’s Refrigerator” (done here in two versions – one with the immortal Peter Noone on lead vocals) is a straight-out-of-the-Graham Gouldman-songbook masterpiece – complete with nifty guitar figures (on the Badfinger/George Harrison slide order) while “Amazing” is just that, because it’s nothing like the other tracks – it’s a clean hard-rock moment; heavy, but not over the top and is definitely a step out of the ’70’s. “Grey Heavenly Lane” has that breakneck-speed of late ’80’s “college rock” – like R.E.M. on amphetamine – and is structured around tightly wound harmonies and “Your Devices” immediately recall the best moments of Squeeze, between the vocal interplay, the guitar arrangements and the verbal avalanche.
Once again, in a now-lengthy career of some twenty years, the band sounds as fresh as ever. And these new songs are both a joy and a treat to these ears – that only respond to quality. And The Anderson Council understand quality.
Worlds Collide is currently available