If you are looking for an album that satisfies the need for a strong artistic voice then look no further, Annie and the Bang Bang’s Save Yourself delivers. A vibrantly alive follow up to their 2013 self titled debut, Save Yourself will keep you riveted until the closing chords of the sweeping title track fade away. An ominous snapshot into what breaking up, and moving on can look like. A voyeur’s dream.
Save Yourself will stir your soul. A disquieting leap of trust into territory rife with sexual ambiguity, and obsessive love/lust. The album’s dramatic tales are layered in the rich PJ Harvey-like vocals of Annie Enneking, and rock unflinchingly courtesy of the band that is comprised of Enneking on guitar and vocals, John Riedlinger on additional guitar, Tom Penney on bass, and Chadly Koppenhaver on drums, though Mike Kittel is the current drummer.
On “Feeling This” the band channels the best of 1960’s psychedelic rock (think Jefferson Airplane “White Rabbit”) right down to Chadly Koppenhaver’s razor sharp drum fills. The humorous lyrical turn at the end: “here’s the chorus we all want la la la la la” elicited a smile from this listener.
It is impossible to not fall hard for “Virus” a song that at 1:46 minutes is the shortest. The fast tempo, driven guitar, and clever lyrics make the succinct track the catchiest on the album.
An interesting aside is that nearly all of the band are theatrical actors. A fact that must have helped to create the dark, and dangerous imagery that permeates Save Yourself. Annie Enneking’s commanding vocals have an intensity that only draws you deeper into the menacing world that they’ve created. In particular, her vocal abandon on “Bit(ch) Sugar” is resplendent. Like ying and yang, of course, there is a melodic side to her vocals that lend a charming vulnerability as well.
Kat Bjelland of Babes in Toyland was a fearless predecessor to so many women that grace our stages today, and Enneking carries on the vibrant tradition of Minneapolis frontwomen who rock hard, and rock unapologetically. Enneking’s vocals won’t soothe you, that is not her job. in this fraught time where the media is overwhelmed with misogyny towards women, I found Save Yourself to be a welcome antidote.