Formed in 2013, this spectacular quintet from Israel, have released their debut album this year on the Fading Records label which is a part of AltrOck Productions. The band is called Anakdota. I’ve heard some of their samples on the AltrOck bandcamp website and I had my eye-brows go up at the exact moment when I heard some of the tracks. I went ahead and bought the album straight away from The Laser’s Edge website and my take of listening to the entire album, it was almost like finding a lost diamond in the Sierra Madre.
The band considers; Ray Livnat on Vocals, Ayala Fossfeld on Vocals, Erez Aviram on Piano and Keyboards, Guy Bernfeld on Bass Guitar, and Yogev Gabay on Drums. Their music is very intense and complex at the same time while the lyrics are storied to be told through music with a diverse composition. The seven highlights throughout the entire album will show much they need a gigantic stamp of approval that Anakdota badly need.
Erez’s speeding piano, has this increasing rate through the Keith Emerson touches with a concerto followed by a switch from an allegro tempo to a waltz on Girl Next Door. Late is one of my favorite tracks on here. You have Ray acting almost in the style of the Master of Ceremonies as the rhythm is done in the styles of a Circus inside a gigantic merry-go-round as the music is this cross between The Blue Ship, William D. Drake, and a bit of the Diablo Swing Orchestra.
Ray has amazing operatic vocals as Yogev and Erez go straight near the end into the styles between Canterbury and Italian Prog-Rock in which the synths reminded me almost of Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso. Opener, One More Day starts off with the drums sounding in the styles of the metronome going at 150 beats per minute as mid-fast tempos give those drums sounding like an electronic punch.
With the piano and bass in the melody that starts things off, the lyrics deal with trying to get away from the lies and hopefully one day it might come a time that you have to reveal with who you really are and finally getting ready to tell the truth. In the midsection, there’s Yogev handling his snare and making it sound very militant as Guy’s bass features reverb chords, and more of Erez’s piano jazz concerto with a classical twist!
Erez is stealing the show through his keyboards. Again with the essence of David Sinclair, Keith Emerson, and Vince Guaraldi, at times you can imagine him filling in Vince’s place and making the Peanuts gang brought back to life and honoring Schulz’s legacy. And not just he’s an amazing keyboardist, but bit by bit, whether the band goes, he follows with them to see what will happen next.
Ayala’s vocals are one of the best in the stronghold that keeps the rope tight in Anakdota’s sound. With Mourning, the lyrical styles are in the realms of Stephen Sondheim. In the lyrics, it deals with someone that you love and care about has moved on into the afterlife as Ayala’s character in the song is trying to figure out how she’ll move on, but the memories will be there with her.
And it continues with Staying Up Late. The character now is suffering through the realms of depression and for her struggling is hard for her to move forward. As a listener, you can feel her pain and sadness inside her.
But Ray’s vocals as the spirit of the loss loved one, comes into the scenery and comforting her as to say to her that no matter what happens to her, he will be there. Ray is in the vibe of his Danny Elfman-sque vocals on the title track. With wacky time changes, the melody has some art punk vibes that comes to mind of The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo and something straight out of a scenery from the realms of Tim Burton.
End of the Show, which closes the album, is a mini operatic duet between Ayala and Ray as they share vocals before the uplifting last 3-minutes of the piece kicks into the styles of Caravan’s In the Land of Grey and Pink-era thanks to Erez channeling the fuzztone styles of David Sinclair’s organ before Guy’s incredible Bass solo and the vocals close off the song on a high note.
This is now one of my favorite debuts I’ve listened to. And the quintet bring everything to the table. Anakdota’s Overloading is a mind-blowing fulfillment. And I hope they will continue to do more and Fading Records have scored as I’ve always say, another home run with up-and-coming bands and this is one of them.