by Mark Hensch
Miss Anne Thrope - The First
Taste of Temptation
A "misanthrope" is defined (directly by
Webster's Dictionary) as being "one who hates all of mankind." Portland,
Oregon local band Miss Anne Thrope (with their tongue-in-cheek spelling
of the word) is defined by me as being one of the most surprising local
bands I have heard in quite a long time.
Miss Anne Thrope plays a strange concoction
of Tool-like alternative rock, with strange moments of punk breakdowns,
nu-metal thrash, and subtle guitar pieces that are scattered like the snowflakes
of a Michigan blizzard. This obviously is a credit to other influences
that Miss Anne Thrope has, but the biggest factor in the music this band
plays is that hard to define Tool sound.
First track "Melange" is a mini-epic of
sorts. It rolls in with some Tool riffs/rhythms and from there goes into
a radio friendly (yet dark) tune that breaks down into some stomping
start/stop nu-metals riffs and ends with a picture perfect punk breakdown
that totally caught me off guard the first time. This song reels you in
with an end rather then a start; it relies solely on progression and patience
to entice listeners back for more listens (it is almost 7 minutes long,
which is no small feat for an intro track by a debuting unsigned band album)
and maybe that is the band's message.
"Price of Truth" is a short, grungy song
with subtle guitar notes and underlying chords scattered all over the place.
The band takes a strange step back by going from heavy to light, and "softening
down" with a mellow yet strangely sinister passage with sound bites of
public speeches that are a bit hard to decipher. The band weaves this all
back into the intro which closes the song over an anguished scream from
"Then and Now" is the best song on the
album, mixing fast clean guitars into (dare I say it?) bouncy and catchy
grunge alternative rock. It ends with a flawless System of a Down styled
breakdown, and with the listener again caught off guard.
"Kissing Leaf" is a mellow to heavy track
that falters a little but saves itself with a nice solo sandwiched somewhere
in the song. "The Lust" is a short filler track that is just a quiet guitar
and piano; it's sadly nothing special, but it allows the band to experiment
a bit and might lead to even stranger things on future albums.
"Shrink" has some nice intro thrash
riffs and screams, followed by full throttle rock that both simmers and
slams. "Adam" is a quiet song that some good heavy parts too and more strange
guitar pieces thrown over-shoulder here and there. "Untitlted" ends things
with an awesome drum piece and some weird guitars.
At first listen, I will admit to being
frankly under whelmed by this band. It sounded like grungy Tool, and where
I live, it's nothing I haven't already heard a million times before. Yet
as I continued to listen for this review, I was frequently surprised by
random guitar pieces, solos, thrash breakdowns, pianos, and even punk riffs.
Combined with that Tool sound, it makes for interesting stuff. After even
more listens, I found that Miss Anne Thrope weaves all these things without
making it sound out of place or foreign, at least usually. It might be
hard to find, but if you surf the internet and you want something that
might grow on you, try Miss Anne Thrope and The First Taste of Temptation.
Chances are the first taste might not be
the most fulfilling, but it surely won't be your last.
Check out http://www.missannethrope.com/
for tour dates, CDs, band news, ect.
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