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Designing a Nervous Breakdown

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Album Review

The Anniversary's debut album, Designing a Nervous Breakdown, blends their skill at crafting emotional, punky-yet-melodic songs with a fondness for new-wave synths. Little analog flourishes pop up on songs like "The 'D' in Detroit," which also features pleasant boy-girl vocals and driving guitars. "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" recalls the delicate, intertwined guitars and endearingly awkward vocals of bands like Joan of Arc or Modest Mouse, while "All Things Ordinary" and "Emma Discovery" don't forsake melodic complexity for their charging rhythms. A strong debut, Designing a Nervous Breakdown reaffirms that traditional indie rock can still sound fresh and lively.


Formed: 1996 in Kansas

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Anniversary brought their own blend of male-female vocals, jangly guitars, and synth keyboards to the emo scene after signing with Heroes and Villains, an imprint of Vagrant Records, in 1999. Hailing from Kansas, the group began expanding their fanbase beyond the Midwest with the release of 2000's Designing a Nervous Breakdown, a strong debut that earned them comparisons to their label owners, the Get Up Kids, as well as another boy-girl synth pop band, the Rentals. At the core of the group were...
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Designing a Nervous Breakdown, The Anniversary
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