By Janice Tran
Drive-Thru Records is legendary for introducing the world to pop-punk bands like New Found Glory and Hello Goodbye. The label has been breeding practically the same strain of music for nearly a decade. At least that was the case until now. With the addition of An Angle to its roster, Drive-Thru either made a major error in genre classification, or more likely, is attempting to jump on the indie bandwagon. Whatever the case may be, listeners will be glad for it. An Angle’s third release, The Truth Is That You Are Alive is more an alt-country album than anything else.
Vocalist Kris Anaya has been tirelessly compared to Connor Oberst of Bright Eyes, and it is no surprise since they sound nearly identical. They both share the same distinctive half-sung vocal style with shaky undertones and both write about relationships in conjunction with happiness and heartbreak.
But there are also many differences that make it possible for Anaya to hold his own. The songs are mostly upbeat with a strong swingy, folk feel. Songs like “Ghost in the Mirror” and “Clean and Gold” have a driving rhythm that any hipster could get freaky to. Other songs like “On My Way” and “Even if I…” show a softer side that feature mostly vocals and acoustic guitar. The most creative song on the album would be “The Red River” which consists of Anaya’s vocals accompanied with a renaissance-style string quartet.
The Truth Is That You Are Alive is an album that any fan of Bright Eyes or alt-country would thoroughly enjoy.