Dramatic is one word you could use to describe Ana Gog’s debut, ‘Making Trails’. From the moment Wolf, Fox, and Hound kicks off, you’re taken on a roller-coaster ride through many different moods – and this comes with all the ups and downs that you might expect. When ‘Making Trails’ peaks, it’s fantastic. In the troughs though, some cracks start to appear.
Take Wolf, Fox, and Hound for example. Ana Gog’s talent and creatively simply ooze from the track. It’s intricate and full of different movements that all pull together in a remarkably coherent way. The shouting verses, the sweeping synths, and the persistent snare/cymbal crashes meld beautifully. The album continues as such – dripping with sincerity, ambitious movements, and vibrant instrumentation.
But, and there is a but, the production of this track lets it down a lot and the same can be said for the album as a whole. Tracks like Worry, Mr. Magpie, and Before The Evening Comes, are all strong alt-pop songs and Before The Evening Comes is likely the best song on the record. But they are all lacking that tight, measured production that makes this genre really pop. The production just isn’t up to scratch.
Making Trails is also a tad overindulgent; a bit too flamboyant. That said, as a musician, you kind of need to indulge yourself – how else are you meant to really create something? – but your indulgence needs to be tempered with reason, with examination of what you’ve created and you have to assess it objectively. Ana Gog seem to have fallen a little short in this respect and ‘Making Trails’ sounds like it hasn’t been reined in enough. This, combined with some of the production issues, means that the LP comes across sounding more eccentric and disjointed than the band had probably intended to be. This is an undoubted shame because Ana Gog could be up there with the best of them if only they tightened the screws a little bit.
All this in hand however, this is a band’s debut LP. They can only learn from this, and the creativity and talent undoubtedly present. Catch them now, and look forward to what they might come out with next.