Release Date: 7/23/2011 Mixed/Engineered by John Grant at Secret Sound Studio in Baltimore, MD. Produced by Analog Anthem. Mastered by Keith Burrell at Cue Recording Studios in Falls Church, VA. About: The formula for Analog Anthem is simple: write and rehearse tirelessly, play every show like it is your last, value your fans, and don't sleep. The latter, simply because there is no time. The Baltimore quartet's debut full-length album, self-produced and due to release in late Summer as an independent release, spans a large collection of sounds and emotions. And yet, the thirteen tracks are carefully constructed together, like a sweaty, intense box of musical crayons. Most bands spend years constructing their best material for their debut album, but that wasn't the case with this record. "We came from different projects and a lot of my solo material carried over into the band and into our first demo," says Brian, lead singer and guitar/keys player. "I was so used to playing solo singer/songwriter type of material, and that wasn't what this was about. I found out that it wasn't even what I was about. The more we played, the more we settled into a sound and a dynamic that we fell in love with." So, the band took three months to channel that dynamic into new songs. "It never felt hurried or rushed or like we were trying to write a specific song," continued Brian. "We just wrote and played endlessly. We all still retain our individual style and taste and that is fused into the songs, but I think part of why they work so well together is how we wrote it, without limiting ourselves." Since the band formed in late 2009, the live show has helped to define and steer them. They took careful note of how dynamics and raw emotion, be it heavy or lighthearted, moved people. As they took stages up and down the east coast, the theme remained. "We put everything into the live show," says Ernie, lead guitarist and backing vocalist, with an excited smirk. "That's where you meet people, connect with people. We leave everything up there, like it is our last show." It's no surprise they're excited to meet and connect with people, the band wrote the album in a windowless storage unit, affectionately known as G-22 (the unit number). "About eight months out of the year are perfect," laughs Alex, the band's bass player. "Then, there are two months of unbearable cold and two months of sweltering heat. We don't have heat or AC in there, just some fans. But, it's cheap and we can play as loud as we want." The band's roots trace back to Brian trying to put together a band after growing tireless in the narrow singer/songwriter field. In the summer of 2009, Brian decided to expand and reached out to his brother and drummer Jason to join. Jason and Brian contacted high school buddy Ernie Beck to join on at lead guitar and backing vocals, after doing some of his own solo material and a few other projects. Struggling for a bass player, a Craigslist ad turned up Alex Grant. In the basement of Brian's apartment, the band met and played for a few hours. Their stylistic differences were a bit unsettling at first, but there was no doubt that the four just worked together. The band was born. 2010 saw the release of a demo called Sparrow EP. Containing some new material and some samplings from Brian's solo collection, it was recorded in Brian's apartment and sold at live shows and online. Appearing on the demo was one of the first band-written songs, Overkill, which is largely what moved the band forward. The song was chosen to be in an indie film called "All's Fair In Love and Work" and came in the top five in the fan/judge voting national competition to play Virgin Mobile FreeFest (out of over 4000 acts). On the heels of this, the band booked and played shows from Charlotte, NC up to Boston, MA. The band also was selected to play Artscape in 2010 as well as several other festivals. As 2010 came to a close and 2011 welcomed them in, the band met to talk about recording and releasing a record. The task seemed daunting. "A lot of people don't realize the cost to make an album. It's crazy. We put together a fundraiser to help raise the money and the fan response was amazing," Jason explains. "The band raised over four thousand dollars in just a month. The day the fundraiser started was the day of the tsunami in Japan, so we donated ten percent of funds raised to the American Red Cross. We also donated to WTMD, a local public radio station, because we find new music there and non-commercial radio is really struggling these days. We wanted to give back, the generosity we got was almost overwhelming. We had to pass that on to others." With the funds ready, the band huddled into G-22 for a few months, and emerged with thirteen songs ready to record. They headed into Secret Sound Studio in Baltimore for ten days to work with engineer John Grant. After a whirlwind set of sessions, the record was sent over to Cue Recording Studios in Falls Church, VA, where mastering engineer Keith Burrell put the final touches on the album. And like that, the eponymous full-length debut was done. "It's a weird time warp. You would be in the same room for ten hours and not even notice it, until you just suddenly realized you missed every second of daylight," Brian noted. "We were also still working to pay bills, so none of us slept much during writing or recording." The record is undoubtedly a shift from their origin. But, it had to be. The band was no longer a quartet of individual sounds. They had merged it all into a singular stream of sound. That isn't to say that the album isn't diverse. It covers everything from southern rock sing-alongs to indie-rock toe-tappers to Zeppelin-style throwback rock and roll. It even recalls some dirtied indie-folk and some funk and soul. The album kicks off with Paper Thin, a driving indie-rock anthem with a big chorus that declares, "I can feel it". It moves right along with Truck Stop, reminiscent of Vampire Weekend catchyness with a bit more edge. The sing-along King's Daughter at track three is bound to be a call-and-answer number at the live shows. "Oh yes," laughs Brian. "You'd better believe we're getting the crowd singing that one." A campfire scene ending then resolves in the almost reggae opening of Implications, which halfway through changes gear and becomes an old school style blues-rock shredder. Carrying the shredding a step further is the rocker Stoned, where singer Brian Stewart professes his love and addiction to live music. Track six is the hook-heavy Parade, with a thick chorus that infectiously states, "This ain't no comin' of age / Think I made a mistake / But I gotta keep rollin' on / I don't care what you say / I put it all on parade / Like the barrel of a gun". At seven and nine are two heavy blues-rock numbers in Torino and Hurricane, respectively, sure to get people moving at the live show. AWOL, at track eight, is a pop-rooted indie song about jumping town. Henry, You're Gonna Die is a psychedelic-tinged rock song based on the main character of the novel Factotum. "I actually saw the movie first. It's a great movie adaption, not much of the 'Hollywood' factor to it," explains Brian. "I just connected with the human condition of it in and penned the song faster than probably anything I've ever written," The album enters it's final stage with Middle River, which juxtaposes pretty, reverb-laden guitars and vocals against a fast-paced and driving chorus. Cold Morning then washes into the noise and takes on a much more serious and somber note with huge vocal harmonies for the chorus that all dissolve artfully into a single guitar and voice at the end. The album's closer is a big and anthemic rocker, titled Won't Call, and the album closes with a huge bang that fades off into the distance. While the album's diversity gives it character, their singular voice is what grabs listeners. They've stuck with that formula they discovered years ago while on the road. Raw emotion and dynamic songwriting outlasts any fad and gimmick. "We work extremely hard to make great songs and get them to people," explains Brian. "This is it for us, music is what we are. This album is who we are. This is us."