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The Answering Machine - Another City, Another Story

The Answering Machine, Another City, Another Story

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

THERE are big things predicted of Manchester citygazers The Answering Machine in light of the success of singles Cliffer and, most recently, Obviously Cold.

Thus far, they’ve developed a reputation for gloriously affecting art-pop and debut album Another City, Another Story looks set to underline their ability for such quick-fire, adrenaline-inducing anthems.

Having spent most of 2008 locked-up in remote North Yorkshire with Manic Street Preachers’ producer Dave Eringa, working on the album, Martin Colclough and co now gush forth with typical exuberance over 11 blasts of energy.

Obviously Cold serves as an early highlight with its “woo-hoo” head rush vocals, but it’s surrounded by lively guitar anthems that should easily appeal to followers of other art-pop acts such as The View and, to a lesser extent, early Strokes.

The handclap sing-along anthem in waiting Oh Christina is another instant favourite, while Tomorrow is a riot of Strokesian guitars that manage to combine the British indie-pop scene with the US post-punk revival. It’s snappy, witty and similarly super-charged.

Cliffer, meanwhile, demonstrates that they do have the ability to take things down a notch and mix tempos… a cosy intro eventually wailing to life with “aaghs” aplenty, before settling back down into a deeply melodic riff-driven effort that early Blur may have been proud to call their own.

Thereafter, glockenspiel beats trade blows with guitar loops on the endearing Emergency, another pick, Oklahoma shows plenty of hustle and Lightbulbs drops yet another blistering central guitar loop, amid plenty of distortion and shouty vocals.

It’s Over! It’s Over! It’s Over is probably one of the loudest break-up anthems you’ll hear this year, before The Information finally slows things right down and taps into a vulnerable sensitivity that’s exactly what the album needed at that point. They can do slow.

You Should Have Called picks things up for a rousing finale, but by then you’ll have heard enough to be impressed. The Answering Machine have delivered a rousing debut shot to the arm that may not live too long in the memory, but which should certainly help to realise their potential and put them on the map with a good chance of hanging around for a bit.

Download picks: Obviously Cold, Oh Christina, Cliffer, Emergency, The Information

Track listing:

  1. Another City Another Sorry
  2. Obviously Cold
  3. Oh Christina
  4. Tomorrow
  5. Cliffer
  6. Emergency
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Lightbulbs
  9. It’s Over It’s Over It’s Over
  10. Information, The
  11. You Should Have Called