Anagrams's 10-track debut has been a little while in the making. Not only has the last year seen the Brighton-based band change their name but it has also seen their album's release date being pushed back numerous times from last summer into the next year. Luckily for both the four-piece and their growing fan base We Form A S is well worth the wait. For a debut album from an unsigned band, We Form A Shelter is highelterhly polished and expertly executed. Its transitions between songs and the clarity of every note, both played and sung, lack the rawness that you'd expect from a debut, and its 45-minute running time gives plenty of time to prove that the quartet are highly accomplished musicians.

From the first notes of the opening track 'Autumn Leaves', Anagrams impress with their cohesion of lyrics and timing, with opening line "Can we slow things down for a minute" corresponding with a suitably slower change in pace. Describing their own sound as a blend of indie, rock and shoegaze, there are certainly moments where the band showcase their influences with pride: singer David Wheeldon's gorgeous deep vocal tones not unlike Kelly Jones, and many of their lyrics and guitar melodies echoing early Oasis. These pangs of nostalgia may hark to decades past, but they neither hold Anagrams back, nor mark them out as unoriginal.

One of the album's strengths is the band's subtle use of dynamics, displayed most acutely in 'Lost In Space'. Gradual build ups within the song and continual layering of instruments accumulate in the rise and fall of dynamics throughout the latter half of the song, erupting into a frenzy of beautifully constructed melodies and percussion before it ends abruptly, and the muted drumming and softer guitar strums of next track 'Saving Up' begin. With echoing, distant sounding lyrics, 'Saving Up' strays from the realms of indie into something that resembles almost post-rock like layering. The wholly instrumental 'White Eagle' highlights these moments perfectly and its layered, lyricless textures illustrates the band's depth, and furthers the band from the inevitable traditional "indie" label that their more nostalgic sounds are likely to attract. The fact that the album was recorded in a school hall emphasises the lovely echoic qualities that embodies the entire album, yet it is instrumental moments such as on 'White Eagle' that display this to perfection.

The more upbeat moments, such as standout track 'Red And Green' sees the whole band repeat "There's always one light on" in luxurious harmonies, before the guitar melodies and percussion switch and change, interwoven with a constant bass line that glues each melody together. '1711's' wistful lyric "Why do we need a story to tell, when everyone else will forget about it?" contrasts deeply with 'Sticking Together's' repetitive lines of "After a grave fall our bones crack", lyrics that hint at We Form A Shelter's more menacing undertones and an altogether darker side that the album's more buoyant vocals and melodies tend to mask, and which beg to be uncovered.

Having supported the likes of The Antlers, Wooden Shjips, The Joy Formidable and The Phantom Band in the past year, and with this brilliantly varied debut finally seeing the light of day this year, it will be interesting to see how Anagrams progress over 2011 and exciting to try and catch We Form A Shelter's genre bending meanderings in a live environment.

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