In the concept for his single “Angry Letter,” Christopher Banks makes his aesthetical interests as a singer/songwriter clear to the audience, and following in the footsteps of those who refused to push the envelope with melody is not on his agenda. Banks is chasing the shadow of a classic rock behemoth here, and his path is taking him down a much darker road than some indie rockers would be willing to take these days. Primed to make an impact on a generation that hasn’t had a lot of rich harmonies in their rock is his new album Anxious Attachment, which I’m ranking as one of the best in its genre to hit record store shelves in the last two months.
There’s a very eclectic vibe to the whole tracklist in Anxious Attachment, but nothing is particularly scattered or unfocused. In the strutting “Wherever You Are” and lethargic “For a Limited Time” the same, we’re invited into the personality of Christopher Banks without any sort of filtration to come between us and his harshest of commentarial verses and never does it seem as though we’re listening to a random hodgepodge of material. Everything here is very meticulous, right down to the structure of the simplest melodies.
Banks uses fantastic instrumental pressure to build up the tension in “Audrey,” “Lateral Romance,” “The Window,” and “Angry Letter” without having to get synthetic with the harmonies, and nowadays that is, unfortunately, worth a round of applause. Where so many of his contemporaries would have taken the easy way out of this sonic puzzle, this guy is chipping away at a smorgasbord of texture one scathing strand of poetry at a time. His patience is something, but moreover, so is his commitment to quality.
One thing that doesn’t come in ample supply in Anxious Attachment is catharsis - if I’m being perfectly honest, this is generally one of the tensest indie rock efforts I’ve heard in 2022 or 2023. Introspection is one of the key themes in the lyrics featured here, but it’s just as much an implied factor in the music itself as well. This is perhaps the best way for a guarded rock singer to relate to us or, on a deeper level, it could be a basic premise of introduction that will inevitably pave the way for something grander in size and creative scale in the future.
Christopher Banks’ new album isn’t without a couple of completely excusable surface flaws, but overall it’s a brilliant effort from an artist with some sincerely amazing potential. One of the best elements in Anxious Attachment is its anti-pretentiousness, and in the alternative rock genre, that too is becoming rather difficult to find regularly anymore. Here, Banks isn’t pushing his luck with an audience unsure of who to trust anymore - he’s playing it safer than some and far more experimental than others, with the balance in between leaving us with some legitimately unforgettable moments. I don’t see them being isolated by any means, and those who peek at this tracklist are likely to share my opinion.
We do music reviews for Independent Artists and Publicists.