I will always remember the first time I saw Anathallo live. I was at Purple Door and I had an hour where none of the bands I wanted to see were playing. So I went over to the gallery stage to get some food and sit down and wait for Danielson Familie to play. While sitting there I saw a crowd of kids start forming near the stage. I saw some guys setting up crazy shit on stage and I saw some trombones and trumpets so I thought ‘oh sweet maybe a Ska band is about to play’.
Well a ska band Anathallo certainly was not. Anathallo is one of those genre bending bands that’s difficult to properly define. They are one of those bands that must be seen to believe as most recordings of their music don’t do them justice. The best I can do is post this live video of them for now and pick up from there.
Okay so now you have a rough idea what I mean about this band.
After seeing them live I pre-ordered their next album titled Floating World. I really didn’t know what to expect from it but it turned out to be one of the most interesting indie rock concept albums I’d ever heard.
The first few songs are of no actual context of the story. Regardless they’re incredible songs. While I’m not a huge fan of the opening track Genessaret the next song Hoodwink starts to progress the band into a more fuller sound but they don’t hit their true momentum until By Number
The album has an on going Japanese theme throughout the album beginning with By Number which contains a Japanese Translation of Psalm 139:5 in it’s lyrics. Followed by Dokkoise House (With Face Covered) which is based off Japanese Peasant Songs (as well as closing Track Kasa No Hone)
Then we have the strange element of the concept. There are four songs named Hanasakajiijii on the album. These songs are based off an old Japanese folk story. It tells of a dog that manages to dig up Gold for his owner (Great Wind More Ash). The dog is then kidnapped by the next door neighbor who hopes to also find gold but the dog only digs up slugs so the neighbor kills him (The Angry Neighbor). The dog then returns reincarnated as a terrible hurricane and destroys the neighbors house and kills the cruel neighbor (Floating World).
Band member Andrew Dost later left the band and joined fun. where he found lots of success. Anathallo released one more album before going on an indefinite hiatus. While they have always released fantastic albums Floating World will always be their lovingly crafted masterpiece.