Knoxville rockers Annandale, fronted by husband and wife team Chad and Ashley Grennor, have released their second EP, On the Inside. It is the follow up to 2013's Moving Forward, which was produced in Butler, New Jersey by Sevendust's Clint Lowery at Architekt Studios. On the Inside, however, was produced in the band's hometown at Lakeside Studios by local award-winning music producer Travis Wyrick.
Since the release of Moving Forward, Annandale has rounded out their permanent lineup with lead guitarist Zack Burnette and bassist Jody Jordan. Two session drummers played on On the Inside, Andy Campbell and Chris Robbins. They now also have new drummer, Dave Rush, who did not play on the album but is a permanent addition to the band.
On the Inside begins with its lead single "Perfect Disaster." It is a hard and heavy rocker with some killer guitar riffs. The vocals are a duet between Ashley and Chad, and Ashley's vocals very bright and theatrical, particularly on this track. It also features great lyrics about about being with someone who is "perfectly imperfect," but you wouldn't have it any other way.
"Ugly" is another hard rocker with fast, heavy riffs. On this one, Ashley's singing is prominent in the verses, and Chad's are in the chorus. He sings the lyrics, "Because if I'm gonna be beautiful, I can't be afraid to let it get ugly" so powerfully. "Ugly" is my absolute favorite on On the Inside, and I know it has the potential to be a hit single. As a matter of fact, it is going to be Annandale's next single!
"Half Past Halfway" is a ballad, but it is still quite edgy, as Chad sings it with such conviction and soul. Ashley, not being left out of this one, sings backing vocals in the chorus. "Half Past Halfway" has thoughtful lyrics about not wanting to push someone away. It is followed by "Wake Up," which has some electronic effects in the intro, but it quickly turns into a guitar-oriented rocker. I really enjoy the distorted "Wake up, wake up" that Ashley sings in the chorus. It also has a great guitar solo at the end.
On the Inside's final track is "Unbecoming." It is slow in the beginning, and contains a pronounced bass line courtesy of Jody Jordan. The chorus on this one is solid, and Ashley's and Chad's voices blend together so well. It is dramatic and emotional with its lyrics about a relationship being strong and unbreakable after going through an ordeal. "Unbecoming" is not your typical hard and heavy song with the soaring riffs and the like, but it certainly packs a punch.
Annandale's On the Inside boasts an overall great sound, and some heavy riffs courtesy of lead guitarist Zack Burnette which are well complemented by Chad Grennor's rhythm guitar. Ashley's and Chad's voices intertwine beautifully, but at the same time you can sense tension as they sing deep lyrics alluding to a tumultuous relationship. I really like this aspect of Annandale's lyrics and sound. With Chad and Ashley being husband and wife, I'm sure this can be therapeutic for them at times.
Annadale is a band that is gaining momentum and headed in the right direction with On the Inside. They have certainly topped their previous album Moving Forward, which was in itself a fantastic album. I am excited to hear whatever comes next, as I'm sure it will be outstanding.
7 1/2 out of 10 stars