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A New January : Reviews

Kind words from the masses...

"Kick ass tunes man!!!  Seriously.  If you think I'm lying, you should know that both your CD's replaced part of Depeche Mode's 101 and Tori Amos (my two top favourites) in my car's changer.  Why haven't you guys been discovered yet?"

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Cold and Naked

Wet-Works Electro Zine

Wet-Works Electro Zine
July 2004
Reviewed by GunHed

Cold and Naked contains popish coldwave tracks with influences from goth, synth-pop and drum 'n bass.  A New January is in the vein of such acts as Crocodile Shop or Razed in Black.  Sonically, the album is recording bliss, tons of juicy complex drum patterns and crisp polished sounds.  I especially loved the moodiness of the instrumental "Jaded," the emotionality of "Drown," and even the new wave drum 'n bass workover of The Cure's "Just Like Heaven."  If you like your synth-pop with a touch of electronica and processed guitars, A New January is for you.

Synthpop Network

July 2004
Reviewed by Jason Baker

A New January return with their second full-length CD, following the Patchwork Shadows CD and the After Clothes EP.  This 2003 album finds the band even more polished than ever before, with their unique guitar laden brand of electro-pop/electro-punk fine tuned and showing even more skillful songwriting than in previous efforts.

As with previous efforts, the songs tend to be very dark in focus and atmosphere, with at times some disturbing imagery used in the lyrics.  However, the language doesn't use profanity (but there is some very, very edgy language here) this time out, at least that I could detect.

A New January has always been a band I have to be in the right mood to properly appreciate.  Their gritty, raw and intense approach is usually suited to a similar mood, though I can appreciate it also when in a good mood... it just takes a bit more effort on the part of the listener, I think.

Standout songs "Take It From Me", "Shape Your Tongue" and "Tooms" are excellent, hard hitting songs that are undeniably memorable.  But for all those who say that there isn't enough electronic music out there with an edge:  You need to give ANJ a listen.  You will quickly change your mind.  This is a very solid and enjoyable album, very much worth your time.  The lyrical edginess would mean you probably won't want to play this around the kids, but it's still a very good album.

Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5.

Illinois Entertainer

Illinois Entertainer
February 2004
Reviewed by David C. Eldredge

Given they've got 10 years and several full-length CDs behind them, it's not surprising that A New January's latest full-length release, Cold And Naked, is about as slick and polished a package as "Around Hear" ever gets.  There's no questioning this band's chops as they mix aggressive electronica-infused synth-rock into a stew that's all their own.  Witness their cover of The Cure's "Just Like Heaven," where they pull a "reverse" by double-timing the playing, half-timing the vocals, and overlaying lots of twinky knob twiddles and patches.  But as well-packaged, produced, and played as it is, the rest of the band's own material just isn't all that convincingly persuasive as much as it is an excellent showcase of influences and experience.

Legends Magazine

Legends Magazine
August 2003
Reviewed by JHR

Interesting.  I think.  There are processed-to-death guitars, breakbeats, lush keyboard work and proper singing with a tune and everything.  It's tastefully produced and comes with an artfully designed set of lyrics.  Maybe it's me, maybe it's the heat (It's currently the hottest the UK's been for quite some time.  I don't complain about the warmth because I can't stand winter and don't care to be pale and interesting.  Even so...) but Cold and Naked isn't quite grabbing me by the throat.

Though saying that, "Worlds Are Breaking Down" really does jump up and down on the 'breakbeat' lever before going for a portion of Cure-ish flanged guitar-chiming.  And back to the breakbeats.  Frantically large.  Somewhere between Deathboy and Battery sans the scary-woman vox.  Yeah–I could get into that played loud somewhere.  And then... And then... "Tisiver Ssol" is just excellent.  And stops too quickly.  A My Bloody Valentine interlude played on broken synths.  Damn fine.  More like that, please!

It's at this point that I was accosted by a robot demanding to know what the bloody hell I'd done with the box of rivets it had left here.  By the time I'd convinced the device that it was mistaken, the CD (calls itself 'enhanced'–and there's no Philips 'CD' logo–I wonder if this is Red Book?) has gone for a bit of reflect and a sit down with a biscuit and a nice cup of tea.  Oh, hello.  Tea's finished and it looks like malarkey's in the offing...

"Shape Your Tongue" is utterly mad.  Drum & bass anguished synthpop Beach Boys.  From Chicago (sort of).  If you were going to cruise the beaches somewhere dangerous in a two-door Range Rover, this would be the ideal soundtrack.  It's too short.  Again.  After some pleasantly bloingy-boingly-blarpscree synths, the band suddenly have a fit and begin to channel Chapterhouse.  A brave move in the circumstances, but I understand that shoegazing lasted a lot longer in the Americas.  Most odd, but not unwelcome by any measure.

Then there's an A-ha-gone-D&B rework of "Just Like Heaven."  In the background, a Defender arcade machine is having noisy group sex with a comple of randy tubas.  The thing is though, Dinosaur Jr. provided us with the canonical cover version of this tune, and while I'm sure it would go down a storm with the 80s revisionists, it doesn't really provide the kick in the head that J. Mascis managed.  Where have I heard that noise before?  Good Lord!  They've imprisoned a George Pal Martian in a box and are teaching it Earth Music!  They're tricky chaps, these Chicago-area bands and [make] no mistake.

OK, now I like this.  I just can't work out how much.  I don't think they're going to be my New Favourite Band the same way Icon of Coil were–some songs are a little too... polite.  Even if there are mad breaks going everywhere like grape-shot pitched into a robot melee.  On the other hand, when things get Bloody Weird, they manage it with remarkable brio.  Maybe they're like the Chaos Engine and all hell breaks loose live, yet they give themselves too long to tidy things in the studio and it gets a little over-polished.  Who can say?

On the third hand, "Transparent" ought to go down a storm when played in the more progressive clubs.  Full-on skronk-techno with atmospheres.  Could do with kicking up the bass a bit in the manner of Way Out West's "Intensify"–that would turn it into a mad-bastard dancehall monster and [make] no mistake.  Damn fine stuff though.  If you can get to listen to the tracks I've mentioned before plonking your hard-earned [cash], you won't go far wrong.


April 2003
Reviewed by Fred Thom

Forging its catchy melodies and angst-driven lyrics in rich textures bathed in industrial, synthpop and new wave, on Cold and Naked, Chicago-based A New January have created a sophisticated and solid piece.

In the tradition of a city known as the birthplace of industrial, A New January don't try to follow the trends, sticking to what they like, sounds from the 80's and 90's that are updated with today's technology.  At a time when 80's music is more influential than ever, Cold and Naked goes beyond the simple exercise of nostalgia, the band's longtime distinctive approach having resulted in the creation of their own signature sound.

Complex drum patterns, light guitars, cold wave keyboards and neo-romantic harmonies blend to create a very fluid and seductive music.  The opening tracks, the infectious "Take it From Me" and "Worlds Are Breaking Down", perfectly represent the band, sophisticated and melodious, taking over where the precedent EP After Clothes had left us.  Intertwined between the two musical genres, Cold and Naked slightly balances between industrial–"Shape Your Tongue", "Pushing" and "Tooms"–and smooth electro-pop–the moody "Uncreate" and "Drown"–melodies always remaining at the core.  Techno, another musical current associated with the image of the windy city, hasn't been forgotten with instrumentals such as "Transparent".

While the assimilated rather than carbon copied influence of some bands such as Depeche Mode, NIN and early Moby is perceptible on Cold and Naked, quoting Cure directly with a cover "Just Like Heaven" was unnecessary, as it obviously cannot challenge the original, and should be limited to live performances.  While bringing some kind of acknowledgment by their peers, the remix of "Take It From Me" by Martin Atkins (Pigface) is the only real faux-pas here, concluding in a pretty painful overdose of voice samples [on] an otherwise convincing album.

Splendid E-Zine

Splendid E-Zine
November 19, 2003
Reviewed by Ben Hughes

People of Earth, the industrial revival begins today!  Fervidly spreading the Gospel as revealed to Trent Reznor, A New January are true belivers in the timeless relevance of break beats and menacing synth pads.  In a way, I think they're right–every teenage generation needs a soundtrack for getting their angst on, and the intersection of synth-pop, goth and metal has proved to be a particular potent one.  Bit whither anguish?  Whither rage?  Cold and Naked never approaches the gut-wrenching emotionality of Nine Inch Nails, or even second-gen acts like Stabbing Westward, settling instead for a kind of cartoonish malcontent, like those goth kids who work at the mall.  Saint Trent would rather die than give you control, but A New January seems more concerned with "violent chlorophyll" and the "lost soul slot machine".  It's a shame.  Sonically, this record is quite sharp, but successful articulation of despair is pretty much cost of entry for this already crowded genre.  Halo Eighteen remains, as of yet, unmade.

After Clothes

Wrapped In Wire

Wrapped In Wire
February 24, 2003
Reviewed by Darklight

This EP features four different versions of the title track and five other songs.  Everything offered here is great showing what this band is capable of.  They create energetic synth-pop music with a serious tone that gives their sound a slight EBM edge.  Basically, all these tracks would be great for the club floor.

The music is constructed with multi-layered, fast paced electronic programming, driving bass beats, soothing melodies and a touch of guitar.  The vocals are clean and untreated delivered in a rather deep tone allowing them to fit in with the music perfectly.

This is quality structured synth-pop music that, while not really offering anything new or different, is polished and well done.  My only real complaint with this disc is that some of the remixes aren't too entertaining.  But after listening to this CD, it makes me want a full-length release by this act.

If you're a fan of modern synth-pop music, A New January is definitely a band to check out.

[Grade: B]

Legends Magazine

Legends Magazine
February 2002
Reviewed by Marcus Pan, Editor

Third album out from this Chicago-based electro/synthpop hybrid, After Clothes features the single of the same name with some other songs peppered about and salted with remixes of "After Clothes" - including one by Die Warsau's Jim Marcus. ANJ are a triplet consisting of Andre (vocals, keys, guitar), Chris (keys) and Kaven (keyboards & guitar).

Starting up in 1994 with a cassette release entitled Bleached Out Bubble Bath, the band decided to continue playing as A New January and released their first CD, Patchwork Shadows, two years later.  The path shown between Bath and Shadows clearly shows the band moving deeper into a heavier sound, beginning with a new wave style in the earlier years and ending now with After Clothes (1998) which adds elements of heavier industrial and more elaborate electronica and rock influences.

In the spring of this year, you can expect Cold and Naked; a full-length already in post-production.  Here the line-up changes a bit and replaces Kaven with Rich (keys, guitars, backing vocals).  Look forward to an even heavier and more complicated A New January, judging by the path they're traveling thus far.

After Clothes is a fine release, even with four out of nine songs being "After Clothes".  You'll however note that most of the mixes offered are distinctive and fresh.  All retain some semblance of the original.  The Jim Marcus remix for example adds a bit of bass-line funkiness and ups the complication on the rhythm.  Meanwhile the Raw version takes the song into a more computer-driven stance, with highly controlled guitar riffwork and electro noodling.  While the original song's melody is hidden and subtle, it is nonetheless there and is recognizable as "After Clothes".

Other offers here include "Virtues"; a laid back piece with hypnotic vocals and smooth movements.  None of this song is power hungry and instead retains a melodic background with only occasional heavier rhythm additions used for a grounding effect.  "Green" meanwhile opens with interesting fat-back drums and rolls into a smooth, mellow piece with surrounding metallic clicks and bubbling synths.  A piano (like) is added to the mix along with vocals, relying on a disturbing flat-note clashing style that makes an interesting arrangement.  They wrap up After Clothes with a live version of "Forever in a Day".

I liked this CD.  Usually when I get EPs that masquerade as LPs, with one or two songs mixed up a number of times throughout so the end result is you're getting really five new singles, I find myself wanting more and being a little disappointed.  With After Clothes the title track remixes are distinctive and different, yet still retain the right to be called "After Clothes".  With exceptional tracks like the disturbing and clashing arrangement of "Green", After Clothes has a lot to offer.  And keep an eye out for the forthcoming Cold and Naked as well.

C9 Magazine

C9 Magazine
February 2002
Reviewed by Wil

So far I like this EP better now than the first time I heard it.  This was several years ago. The title track has a very light, fluffy, non-threatening appeal to it.  It is a smooth, yet not overly glossy, electro song with a drum n' bass beat to it that is augmented with guitars.  The next track, "Partially Unbroken" is an up-tempo song that is a bit darker than the first song and has a mid-eastern feel to it in sound effects.  The vocals throughout this EP are reminiscent of Depeche Mode, but a tad bit faster.  Track 4 "Shallow Expectations (Revelation)" has a rather phat beat to it.  Like if you took away these vocals, and layed some dark rap vocals in their place, it would be nuts!  Or maybe I just smoke too much crack?  Anyway, fans of New Wave that also like semi-dark edged electronics thrown into the mix will appreciate this release.

The New Empire

The New Empire
November 2001
Reviewed by Toxin, Managing Editor

Electronic music with roots in synth-pop and gothic you cannot overlook Chicago's A New January.  I have never heard of this band before, but with their sound on After Clothes, a release from 1998, they are able to convince me of their quality.

The CD contains 9 songs that can be classified as powerful synth-pop with influences of EBM and danceable electronics and dark, gothy atmospheres.

Typical for this genre are the clear male vocals that push the sound a lot.  Tracks like "Virtues" or "Partially Unbroken" are good examples for the melodic power of the band.  Catchy refrains make the songs warm and exciting.

The title-track "After Clothes," appears in 4 different versions and is worth to eb used as a title-track.  In the original mix, the spherical vocals with a dreamy but bombastic refrain are carried by some wild synth attacks and a fast, straight beat.  The remixes are interesting alternatives and round-up this release.

A New January is a promising band and I am looking forward to their new album that should still be released this year.

January 2002
Reviewed by David J. Opdyke

Edgy electrodance tunes are sweetened up with lush popstyle vocals which recall an early Depeche Mod-ality.  The title track gets four different treatments; the throbbing "Jim Marcus (of Die Warzau) remix" completely subverts the main theme into a ghostly moaned version buried beneath the hypnotic e-rhythms.  Live "Forever in a Day" stomps across the dancefloor on thundering beats as buzzing electronics and Goth-rock vocal stylings soar on broken wings.  A more-experimental track is hidden at the 49-minute disc's end.  I understand the band is about to release something new... After Clothes gets a C+ for being a slightly off-topic, but promising, extended-single taste of things to come.


September 2001>
Reviewed by J. Danos

For some reason, I had always thought that A New January was strictly a synthpop band. I had seen the band's moniker floating around the internet for some time now, and I remembered hearing one of their songs on the DSBP compilation Futronik Structures Vol. 1, but I didn't recollect hearing anything from them since.  It turns out that I was correct (to a degree) about ANJ being a synthpop act.  However, what I failed to realize (until hearing this disc) was that they also cross into many, many other genres of music. ANJ has an interesting formula.  Most tracks feature ominous synth basslines in a dark electro-goth vein, while flirting at the same time with trip-hop or trance beats, melodic synthpop choruses, and on occasion a gritty euro/indie rock flavor.  The result is a bipartisan effect that adheres to both sides of the electronic listening spectrum; pleasing those craving something a bit aggressive as well as those desiring something more smooth and melodic.

The CD starts out with the original version of the title track "After Clothes."  Buzzing dark synths kick off a Shamen-esque groove complete with sexually charged lyrics (almost to the point of being, dare-i-say, lurid), and some interesting spacey sampled sounds.  The vocals have something of a Ned's Atomic Dustbin vs. EMF vs. Shamen vs. Jesus Jones feel, which is a nice change in a genre full of omnipotent Martin Gores.  This song has some serious club-appeal, and is (in my opinion) probably the best track on the disc.

"Partially Unbroken" features a frame of tribal beats and a feverish Nintendo synthline that edges on the nerves.  Blips and Bleeps line the mix, and the chorus is melodic synthpop at its best, with toned down, sultry vocals.

Next up, Jim Marcus provides a remix of the track "After Clothes." Fast jungle disco beats and swelling synth strings shed a slightly different light on the title track.  Unfortunately, the vocals don't seem to work with the mix.  It sounds as if the music might have been written beforehand, with the vocals thrown in as an afterthought.  I definitely prefer the original version over this mix.  The music of this mix is nice, but it just doesn't seem to gel with the vox.

The next track is titled "Shallow Expectations (Revelation)" and it features some slick Matrix-ish grooves and acid synths driving a danceworthy beat.  The vocals are a bit darker on this track, as they are more spoken than sung, with some whispered effects here and there.

Track 5 gives us the "Deep Mix" of the title track. This is a refreshing mix of egyptian flavors, ethnic samples, and a cool trip-hop beat.  A slick bassline slides beneath the drums as interesting spacial effects and panning are applied to various parts.  The vocals seem to have been sped up and sound a little forced.  Once again, I think I prefer the original version more, but this is definitely one of the better mixes.

The disc loses a little momentum with "Virtues." Dance rhythms and slow-roasted vocals compliment a barrage of sporadic structural changes, but the song doesn't seem to progress as much as it needs to.

"Green" packs more punch and kicks the disc back into gear. This is a slow-paced trip-hop (or is that trip-pop?) track with resonating high-end bursts, hard sub-bass and subtle piano.  There is a great stall early in the song, and the re-proach after this stall is magnificent.  "Green" leans more towards an electro-goth feel than what I had heard so far.  The vocals match this mood with something of a droning, forlorn style.

By the time you reach the "Raw Version" of the title track, you end up saying, "well, enough already."  Although the original version is really good, and the prior two remixes reside somewhere between fascinating and tolerable, this version just doesn't do the original any justice.  The beats sound too fast, and the accompanying woodblock and attack of guitars are too redundent, resulting in some annoyance.  This mix isn't different enough to offer any new ideas, but it also eliminates the qualities that I liked best about the original. I would have left this one off.

Finishing off this disc is a live version of "Forever in a Day" recorded in Chicago back in 1997.  You can hear some stylistic differences, as this track has more in common with the electro-goth flavor of "Green" than the title track.  This is a darker track, chock full of immersive guitars, slithering pads, and resonant fluttering synth chords.  Airy vocals drive the song well, and a high-end chorus provides the silver lining for this dark cloud of energy.  A nice closing track.

Just in case you thought that was the end, you better let your disc player run to track 23, where a hidden track awaits to blow up your speakers.  I'm not sure of the significance of the number 23 (topy perhaps?), but this is a mishmash of marching looped beats that seems to get degraded as it progresses.  At one point, the sub bass gets a little out of hand, and you may want to monitor your speaker levels carefully.  Backwards chords and eerie white noises join in the aural assault.  Strange-

Overall, this is a very diverse disc that should appeal to many different types of listeners.  Four different mixes of the title track may be a bit excessive, but they don't lessen the experience enough to discourage picking up this disc.  The recording quality is great, and the compositions are interesting. Further refinement and additional songs with the same energy and emotion found in tracks like "After Clothes" and "Green" would render a hard-hitting disc sure to guarantee A New January all the success they desire.

Illinois Entertainer

As Published in Illinois Entertainer
June 1999, Volume 25, Number 8
Page 32.
Reviewed by Gina McIntyre

A perfect example of classic '80s new wave updated for the techno generation, A New January nicely packages electronic beats with Camouflage-esque male vocals on their After Clothes disc.  The formula is further enhanced with the occasional poetic touch, such as on the danceable title track, "Our melting flesh/Drips over satin sheets."  Even though including four versions of the song on a nine-track effort borders on overkill, the remix by Die Warzau's Jim Marcus underscores the bands darker sensibilities and lends a satisfying weight to the music.

Last Sigh

Last Sigh Magazine for Underground Music
February 1999
Reviewed by Ben Didier

This is the second full length release from A New January, following up their '96 debut Patchwork Shadows.  Although they denounce the synth-pop tag, a large portion of their music contains the catchy pop sensibilities rampant within that genre.  They prefer to call themselves "Digital Electro Dance", and although it's yet another confusing sub-sub-category, it does seem to do their music justice.  Their sound is very accessible, which is to be expected since they claim to be "electronica personified".  The untreated vocals are very pronounced, and seem to deliver the majority of the melody within the music.  The percussion is up beat and well structured, which varies from slight break beats to what sounds like a bongo at the start "Partially Unbroken".  This disk contains three remixes of the title track, including one by Die Warzau mainstay Jim Marcus that focuses on beefing up the percussion and adding a funky synth line. After Clothes is basically a quality album of strong, emotive pop music for the electro fan.

Interface Magazine

As Published in Interface Magazine
December 1998, Version 14
Page 14.
Reviewed by Staff Writer

A surprisingly well kept secret from Chicago.  ANJ are asynth-pop/EBM group that plays like an underground 90s version of Human League.  Their EP, After Clothes, has 5 songs and 4 mixes of the title track, including a mix by Jim Marcus of Die Warzau.  The entire CD is well executed, from the CD to the graphic design.  It is another fine example of how an unsigned band can still access the resources to put out a quality release on their own.

Oblivion Webzine

Oblivion Webzine
September 1998
Reviewed by Graeme Baillie

Hailing from Chicago are A New January, a band I first heard on the Glory of Destruction compilation last year.  I do not want to label them simply as an electro pop band because they are much more complex than that–combining unusual rhythms (sometimes tribal in nature) with sweet pop hooks and dark melodies.  They also have the fine ability to write great songs, and memorable ones at that. The main track "After Clothes" is a really catchy piece with a simple bass line and effective break-beat, drifting into a really nice chorus.  Oh and I need to mention Andre's vocals.  They are very individual and they fit in perfectly with the music, not overtaking it and not being too lightweight, just right.  There is a remix of the same track by Die Warzau man Jim Marcus who has given the tune a more dub harder edge.  Mentions must also go to "Shallow Expectations" and "Virtues", two more really well written tracks that defy any obvious formula.  "Virtues" in particular I loved and reminded me a little of an old Severed Heads tune, although I cant for the life of me remember which one!  (This is) Another CD that I have been playing quite a lot.  I cant see any reason why this bunch shouldn't do well.

Effigy Magazine

As Published in Effigy Magazine
Summer 1998, Volume 2, Issue 3,
Page 25.
Reviewed by Jeremy Pfohl

This is a HUGE improvement over their last album, which was already pretty good to begin with. "After Clothes" is a superb aggressive, danceable synth-pop song.  The beats are full of energy, and though fairly lighthearted, they don't lack any punch.  Nor do the vocals. He has a really good voice, and can work it just as well as it sounds.  The chorus to "After Clothes" is to synth-pop what Covenant's chorus parts are to industrial.  I would have expected the Jim Marcus remix to have more punch than the original, and while it does give it a heavier funky edge, it's not as hard at all.  Still nice, though.  The production on this CD is topnotch... Jim Marcus' mix–which is probably in a bigger studio, and with more experience behind the board–doesn't sound out of place AT ALL with the other tracks. The other songs aren't quite as good, but "Virtues" and the live "Forever In A Day" are still really good songs.  I'd love to see them live, incidentally.

Rating: 4/5

Patchwork Shadows

Illinois Entertainer

As Published in Illinois Entertainer
April 1997, Volume 23, Number 6
Page 60.
Reviewed by Terrence Flamm

Chicago trio A New January successfully clones Depeche Mode, adds darker elements of goth and industrial music, and somehow keeps it all danceable.  Using a variety of keyboards to maintain a steady beat, the band also offers haunting vocals and searing guitar playing.  The cryptic lyrics create a sense of foreboding that occasionally boils over in more explicit songs like "Bleed" and "Witchling."  Other tracks like "Change" and "Babble" deal with more conventional frustrations, but whatever the message, A New January delivers it with a strong sense of mood and melody.

Heart Throb

As Published in Heart Throb & Beyond
February 1997, Volume 3, #1
Page 15.
Reviewed by Chris Mitchell

Strong elements of rock/industrial, gothic, techno and ambient seem to be present here.  This is an excellent listening experience, let me tell you. Some tracks range from industrial sounding "Shallow Expectations" and "Witchling" to lighter stuff with more club appeal like "Change," "Sweet Enough to Steal" and "Subtract."  Then of course, there is a gothic sounding track "Bleed," which is about hint-hint, Vamps!  All in all, this is a fairly solid album well worth the $. Check it out in the local section (by the compilations) @ Tower Records.

**** 1/2

Daily Illini

As Published in the Daily Illini
Friday, December 13, 1996
Volume 126, Number 73
Page 10 in the "Diversions" section.
Reviewed by Jeff Froom

Straight out of the trenches of the Chicago industro-techno club scene comes a burst of fresh air; a.k.a. A New January.  Pulsating with club-oriented power thumps, aggressive synth lines, powerful, effect laden guitar chords, and enchanted, enhanced vocals, ANJ bumps and grinds their way through their first full length album on their own Negative Nine record label.

Patchwork Shadows rolls through an array of motions and emotions while unveiling its deeper than surface level approach towards ANJ's idealistic sonic utopia.  Spiraling into questions of lost hope, clouded feelings, and a somewhat regretful loss of innocence, a level of maturity and tolerance towards the reality of love evolves within the Patchwork Shadows.

Many will try and liken ANJ to a mish-mash of mental crack Anything Box, synth sinister Sister Machine Gun, testosterone-tweaked zing-zong Xymox, popped-up-sunny-side-up Mr. Moby, Cause & Effect with a couple of rational reasons, sharp-edged don't-poke-your-eye-out Curve, and a hard-hitting don't-kill-yourself-just-yet-Mr. David Gahn-Depeche Mode.  [Gasp] But I'd just like to say that ANJ has truly brought out a beauty of a beast that the music industry needs to pay heed to.  With all the garage-grunge bands whom envy the likes of Gavin Bush, Hootie Matthews, and Eddie Cobain, I seek that it is mandatory for a new twist to be introduced to the masses.  This new twist needs to posses a sultry, pseudo synth, an acid-burning beat, a dish-dash of subliminal g-tar, and a polished set of lyrics that won't insult the intelligence of the listener. Alas, ANJ.

At an apex and in conclusion, I'm going to give ANJ's debut album a rating of three and a half units out of five.  I'd put out more if it weren't for the fact that I don't want to see these rookies get big headed and fall into a niche.  So long as this intrinsic trio continues to mature and expand the edge of their sonic boundary, the music industry is undeniably going to have to reckon with ANJ.