Torch Music Review

Shedding light on the music you should be listening to

Indie rock with dashes of punk and emo

Annabel is streaming its bursting-at-the-seams new album “Youth In Youth,” and it does not disappoint.

The quartet will be releasing the album Nov. 24 via Count Your Lucky Stars Records, a label specializing in midwest-based indie rock and emo—a fitting home for the Ohio band and its music.

Annabel draws easy comparisons to numerous bands, ranging from the joyous indie rock roster of Sargent House to the pep and punch of pop-punkers like Superchunk. Both are favorable comparisons, though not ones fully encompassing the band. Annabel isn’t revolutionizing, but they are doing their own thing—a thing that is quite fun to hear.

The album begins with the stately intro and ensuing fireworks of “Young American,” a fitting opener that ends with as much uproarious guitar swagger as any Fang Island song. What ensues is a quick, constantly busy bevy of songs that blend into a fairly rapturous whole.

Each song is headlined by earnest, top-of-the-lung vocals and bristling guitars, but the quiet parts spaced throughout are excellent counterbalances for the uproarious parts as well. These are found throughout—often soft vocals paired with quieter, rather soothing guitar lines as in the low-key “At Least For Now” and with the stoic guitar and meandering bass of “The Dept. of Mutual Appreciation.”

It’s a good change of pace method that detracts from what would be the album’s biggest flaw: a feeling of sameness. Luckily, they’re able to shy away from that fairly well.

Ending with the final, sky-scraping moments of “Our Days Were Numbered” with its twinkling guitar, thundering bass, and shouted “forever”s, “Youth in Youth” is an album consistent throughout that may even broach the adjective “great” with time. It’s certainly a promising picture of a young band with a future.