Following a local scene can be rewarding because you get to watch bands develop and grow. About two years ago, I was first introduced to Analog Party music and was captivated by the song Model Youth from the EP of the same name. In their neo-grunge incarnation, they found a sweet spot between Queens Of The Stone Age and Stone Temple Pilots. During those years, I was able to interview them, become friends with the band, and attend numerous live performances.
Two other singles have been released, exploring darker and darker territories. In One (2020), they slowed down the tempo with beautiful harmonies reminiscent of Alice in Chains, renewing their pact to go head-to-head with the grunge devil. The release of Absolution (2021) confirmed the group's filiation and their musical ability, as Analog Party are more than just good-looking guys playing 90's rock, they are also great musicians and songwriters.
The band is actually a duet. Everything is done by Animaan Pathak (Vocals, Guitars, Drums) and Charles Horin (Bass, Vocals). In studio mode, they are the only masterminds behind Analog Party, even though they are backed by excellent musicians in live settings. Charles and Animaan have been friends for a long time and have learned to play music together since their teens. Symbiosis is palpable and that is their true asset: a brotherhood built on dark music passion, despite trends, defying modern expectations. I think that's a rare merit worth highlighting. They stayed true to their inspirations and wouldn’t compromise on anything that did not conform to their aesthetic vision. Until now, it has been both their strength and their weakness. Their inspirations held them back from exploring unknown territory. Fair enough, that's a common flaw in rock bands nowadays (including mine). During the era of guitar-driven bands, there was an overwhelming amount of great rock music made. There's just something safer about going back to that place, learning the rules and reproducing it, specially when you don’t think you belong in the modern world. It's enough to make you feel better, trust me! But those days are over.
Analog Party is entering into uncharted territory with Riptide. By letting go of their inspirations, they're allowing themselves to go with the flow. In this new song, research and experiment are evident. At the production level, Matt McJunkins (A Perfect Circle, Poppy, Eagles Of Death Metal) helped them free themselves from the giants that guided them until now. There is something risqué, exciting, and fresh about it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a total departure from their original sound. They are just opening unexplored drawers in that same universe. I’m a firm believer that Rock n' roll is not dead, and that there are still new things to do. And Analog Party is here to prove it. There is still angst and anger in their craft, but it is also delicate and poignant, with refined and straight to the point melodies. They invited Jennifer Akerman (aka Final Child) to sing on the track, and she really adds some grace to it.
Animaan told me he didn't write Riptide with Analog Party in mind. This wouldn't fit in their catalog, he thought. It might be because of that that it is such a great Analog Party song. It's only when you let go of expectations that you can be yourself. Can’t wait for more.
- Vincent Walter Jacob
Listen to our extended interview with Analog Party from 2020:
Charles Horin and Animaan Pathak (Analog Party). Photo by by Joshua Kern.