Bowling Green, KY is a small city in relative terms, but the city’s heart and soul is much larger than most. The region is home to one of the coolest music scenes around. With heavyweights like Cage the Elephant, Black Stone Cherry, Nappy Roots, The Kentucky Headhunters and Sleeper Agent all calling the region home, it’s no wonder there’s an abundance of talented players looking to make their mark. Bowling Green is a little more than an hour from the sprawling metropolis of Nashville, which means there are plenty of opportunities to play whatever style of music you set your heart on.
Today, I want to talk about a band from that region, called Undead Anna. Their sound is a mix of grunge, modern rock and some bluesy overtones. If I had to describe it, I’d say it’s a mixture of Candlebox, Fuel and maybe even a little Seven Mary Three with some Nirvana sprinkled on top. Having been friends with the guys for a while, I was excited when they wanted Unsung Melody to hear the album first. We are proud to feature them as an Unsung Artist. As always, I’m going to hit what I feel are the highlights and I encourage you to discover the rest of the album. So, this is Initial Thoughts. The band is Undead Anna and the album is their self-titled debut. Let’s do this!
Kicking off the album is Nobody’s Home. This is the first song released for fans to get a taste of the album. So, I suppose we can call this the lead single off the album. The song begins with a cool intro and quickly settles into a nice groove. Vocalist Clayton Crowder’s voice comes across as a smooth, vibrato-tinged, grungy Brett Scallions for me. Clayton’s voice is the perfect complement to his guitar work. Add in the tones of additional guitarist Wade England and you have yourself a real winner.
Cleaning Mirrors keeps the album going. The song features a high intensity chorus with some cool Kurt Cobain-style palm mutes as accents, and believe me when I say that they will have your head bobbing along from the very first time through. For me though, the highlight of this song is drummer Reid Wilkinson. Someone once said that it wasn’t so much what John Bonham played that made him great, as it was more of what he didn’t play that made him who he was. I think that compliment fits perfectly to Reid’s style in this song.
Hard Times is next up on the radar. With its Toadies-esque riffs, you just know this one is going to rock. This is groove rock, and this is where Undead Anna shines. Clayton’s vocal delivery is more aggressive, and for the first time that I recall on the album, backing vocals are used for accents. The bridge is my favorite one from the album so far. This style is the core of who Undead Anna are and the sound captured on this song is something that I hope to hear more of on the rest of the album. Great tune!
Oh My God is the next stop on our musical journey. Bringing back the backing vocals make this song a stellar track. While the verses are a bit long in my opinion, the song has my favorite chorus on the entire album. As the old saying goes, “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus!” It’s such an easy flow and the melody is perfect, I just wish it didn’t take so long to take off. I always fear that in today’s society, people miss the good stuff because they give up too soon.
Monster is the next tune. It has what is by far my favorite riff on the album. The tones are perfect. The delivery is great and the song is indeed a Monster. Press play. Jam out. Repeat.
All in all, Undead Anna has delivered a very solid debut album. While Clayton Crowder brings impressive vocals, his lyrical depth is something that I think is just as important. His guitar work, coupled with Wade England’s is a seamless match and their tones compliment each other well. With a solid rhythm section behind them, anchored by Reid Wilkinson, the band is set to become one of the best around.