We received a promo download of this little EP, and it's pretty nice. Both Annabel and Dowsing are four-piece emo power-punk pop bands from the Midwest. Dowsing are a Chicago band, while Annabel hail from the unlikely location of Kent, OH.
This is contemporary Midwest emo. Think loud guitars, catchy melodies, and shouted/screamed vocals. Neither band adds anything new to the genre, but both do a fine job. It's good energetic music.
The first two songs are by Annabel. Up first is Always. This is pop with soaring vocals and a catchy, crunchy guitar riff. It grows nicely, with higher pitched male vocals and some chugging drums as guitars chime in layers. Their second track is Forever, which is a noisy tune, the vocals screamed, the drumming fast, and the guitars angry. Good stuff, and my favorite track here.
Dowsing's first tune is the earnest Fistful of Hot Wheels. The vocals are clearer and more wistful, almost like what Sleep Therapy are doing. But then, on the chorus, the guitarist stomps on a pedal and things get all fuzzy and distorted.
Their second tune is World’s Finest Chocolate (How Ya Doin’ Today). Apparently Dowsing are great at coming up with song titles. This one is a little more shouty, perhaps with a different vocalist (the limited press materials i have don't say). I really like the last part of the song, where the two guitars slide against each other while the various voices sing different parts. Very nice.
Overall, not a bad little EP. It's really short -- the longest of the four songs is a whopping 2:31. Apparently Count Your Lucky Stars released this on 7" vinyl, so that's cool.