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Annakye - Headstart (self-released)

30 November 2023

Punk? Pop-punk? Skater-rock? Grunge? Garage rock? The problem with labels is no two people can ever agree on what they mean or even where one genre starts and another ends. And anyway, only lazy journalists, such as myself, put any store with them; I’ve never met a band who agrees with any sonic tag assigned to them. After all, why define yourself? Why restrict yourself? That’s madness!

And Annakye is a case in point; any of those above terms could apply to them, as could alt-rock, or merely rock’n‘roll. What I do know though is that they blend a brilliant slice of punk swagger with fierce and frantic deliveries of foot-on-monitor-heads-down-no-nonsense-mindless-boogie, swathes of outsider attitude with edgy, wrong-side-of-the-tracks aggression. And if you want to know what that sounds like, give their latest single, “Headstart” a spin.

There is no point trying to relive glory days, no point trying to usher in some sort of punk revival, that scene was a time and a place, music made in a specific cultural context, a moment in time long gone. But that doesn’t mean you can’t harness that same energy and use it to propel music designed to capture the same spirit and ignite those same passions in a new audience.

So, as the drums trash with drive and determination, staccato grooves ebb and flow, the bass blends muscle and melody, guitars crash and clash and vocals rouse the rabble, leading the way towards euphoria and abandonment, you realise that old school punk might have had its day but that doesn’t mean that successive generations can’t equally tear down what has gone before and build their own sonic architecture in its place. And the sonic architecture that “Headstart” is fashioned out of is a joy to behold indeed.