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Live Review – Anchoress with, Exits, Selfist, and Encounter
Friday, May 31st 2013
Zoo Zhop

No Height Requirement

Being in a touring punk band in this day and age is not easy feat for anyone, but Anchoress prove they have what it takes. Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, Ricky Castanedo, Keenan Sunbro, Chris Lennox-Aasen, and Rob Hoover form the band Anchoress. The punk-hardcore phenoms have been leaving their mark on every city they touch in one way or another. Their debut record “Set Sail” has been highly regarded as a revival in an ever growing punk movement and after wrapping up their first western American tour, crowds saw what Vancouver’s punk scene was hiding first hand.

The idea of a modern day punk band can be a laughing matter to some, but lurking in the shadows there is an emerging and renewed post-hardcore scene that has been quietly waiting and perfecting itself for the triumphant return to the spotlight. Anchoress, a very minimalist band, have been playing to packed crowds in their hometown of Vancouver for some time and recently recorded and shot a music video for Andrew W.K’s “Party Hard” with not only Andrew’s help and blessing but with the help of 3 Inches Of Blood as well. Touring as a relatively unknown group is one of the biggest gambles any band can make. Any first trek tour is bound to have its ups and downs and Anchoress’ journey was no different.

Abort was giving the opportunity to be an unofficial member of Anchoress for their homecoming show at Vancouver’s all ages venue Zoo Zhop. In what was probably one of the strangest shows I have been to in my fifteen year tenure as a concert-goer, I got to see how true to form these boys really are. Before hitting the stage, lead singer Rob Hoover claims that the first thought to cross his mind is, “I have to pee” while drummer Lennox-Aasen is a little more zen, “I love to do yoga, clear my mind before I play.” These are the routines some of the guys have before instructing chaos and destroying whatever stage is presented to them. Early influences for the band are fundamental for the growth and bond these young men share with each other. “We are united by our love of Brand New & Every Time I Die,” they went further to explain that without the love of those bands that they never could have formed. Music has played a pivotal role in the up bringing of these young men. “My dad was really into 70s punk and my mother was really in to folk, I always grew up with music playing.” Lennox reflects on his childhood saying that “The first time I heard London Calling by The Clash was when I knew I wanted to play the drums.”

Between conversations of dream tour opportunities, their dedicated and loyal local fan-base, and talks of their favourite records all in the comfort of their cozy tour van no one would have guessed the insanity that was to follow. Police pulled guitarist Kennan Sunbro aside due to a legal disagreement over the consumption of alcohol, noise violations, fire hazards and more than a few rowdy fans. Showtime looked doubtful as police paced the streets, neighbours stood from windows cursing down at the crowds of fans or whispers of the fire marshal moments away to end the night. A bit late and bit rushed Anchoress hit the stage to play one of the rowdiest sets we’ve seen in the concrete dungeon known as the Zoo Zhop. Hoover jumped in and out of the crowd as fans sang along to every word screamed at them, Castanedo hit the bass, Lennox smashed the skins, Sunbro slammed his guitar and with jet piercing vocals Hoover trashed around the crowd like a fish out of water. It was the perfect punk show and just as things got hot and heavy in that concrete slab in typical Vancouver fashion, the fire marshal and an army of police officers crashed in and had the crowd swarming out of all available exits.

In punk rock this was no minor coincidence and just like many of the great bands before them Anchoress achieved a pivotal moment in any bands career and that is the simple yet refined moment of a police crack down. Anchoress have the longevity, the charisma, and the musical chops to become one of the biggest punk bands in Canada, a role that has needed to be filled for sometime now. It wont be long before you see a new record from the boys and before that Anchoress will be in your home town to play for you. You can find their latest tunes online, you can find their video for “Party Hard” on their Youtube page and most importantly you can find us against the guard rail at the next show.

By Latif Bains

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