The Anniversary's debut album, Designing a Nervous Breakdown, blends their skill at crafting emotional, punky-yet-melodic songs with a fondness for new-wave synths. Little analog flourishes pop up on songs like "The 'D' in Detroit," which also features pleasant boy-girl vocals and driving guitars. "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" recalls the delicate, intertwined guitars and endearingly awkward vocals of bands like Joan of Arc or Modest Mouse, while "All Things Ordinary" and "Emma Discovery" don't forsake melodic complexity for their charging rhythms. A strong debut, Designing a Nervous Breakdown reaffirms that traditional indie rock can still sound fresh and lively.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares