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The best kept secret in music


Long Way Still

Anagen may have only been around since January of 2004, but they sound like a completely polished band on their debut album, Long Way Still.

The band who have opened for the likes of Bob Schneider, Fastball and Dexter Freebish have a nice mainstream Bon Jovi meets Velvet Revolver sound to them.

The first single off Long Way Still is "Love Affair." It's a straight up rocker about being invisible to the unobtainable girl. "Waste My Time" comes on like Judas Priest's "Living After Midnight." The title track is more of a rock anthem that makes great use of the twin guitars of lead singer Lance Kotara and Tyler McCollum.

"Let it Go" is a ballad with a strong guitarline about the ending of a relationship. "You don't know it but you're so far gone it hurts / You won't show it till you find out what it's worth / Let it go."

Long Way Still is a solid album from beginning to end. The musicians obviously know their craft, and they've got a good sound. It's definately mainstream rock and roll, which isn't done too much in Austin music. Fans of arena rock should enjoy Anagen. They've got a good finger on the pulse of their style of rock. - From the December issue of INsite Magazine

Warrant gives San Marcos fans a slice of Cherry Pie at Gordos | Print | E-mail

By Stephen Lloyd
The Unversity Star

3 Stars
Sat., April 1

No, it was not an April Fools joke. Hair-metal band Warrant rocked the city of San Marcos at Gordos on Saturday. It was a night of chugging riffs, overly catchy hooks and face-melting guitar solos.

New Braunfels-based Omada opened the show and had a nice, bass-heavy groove going for them, reminiscent of Disturbed and Godsmack. This was what made their performance enjoyable because overall, they had an unoriginal sound. Austin-based Anagen hit the stage next and gave an energetic performance. Using wireless systems, the guitarists and bassist were able to jump and move around the stage unhindered. One of the best parts of their set was a medley of classic rock and metal riffs. The impressive guitar skills and the vocals of Lance Kotara are interestingly similar to those of blues artist Johnny Lang. The bands sound overall had a Bon Jovi feel but without the cheesiness.

By the time Warrant hit the stage, the crowd was almost shoulder-to-shoulder. And just when you thought the music couldnt get any louder, it did. Out of all the band members, new singer Jaime St. James, formerly of fellow hair band Black n Blue and bassist Jerry Dixon looked closest to the style of their hair metal heyday, both wearing plenty of leather and vests with no shirt underneath. Dixon had a haircut that was all but a mullet. St. James still had a Robert Plant-like mane of curly blonde hair the quintessential frontman look. Lead guitarist Joey Allen looked more like a punk than a metalhead with his close-cropped bleach-blonde hair and thick-rimmed glasses. But appearances aside, the band still rocked it 80s style, as they proclaimed several times during the show. St. James even acknowledged that they were like dinosaurs.

The first song the band played was Down Boys, with its thinly veiled sexual innuendo. The songs name seems to have become a nickname for the band, and at least one audience member was wearing a jersey-style shirt with down boys written on the back. Some people went further, sporting hair metal wigs or side ponytails.

The band played a few songs from their new album, Born Again, the first without founding member, singer Jani Lane, which was released today. St. James said it was a return to form for the band and Dirty Jack and Bourbon County Line certainly supported his statement. The band played its hit Uncle Toms Cabin and for the encore, its biggest hit, Cherry Pie.
Besides a few power ballads that brought the lighters out, the music was not as tacky as one might think. This is probably because in a live setting, Warrants music doesnt have the sheen of studio wizardry behind it. When it comes to live performance, the band rocks, plain and simple, and its energy is infectious. - The Unversity Star (San Marcos, TX)


Long Way Still (2005)
Laterbye. EP (2003)


Feeling a bit camera shy


In a state ruled by country and blues, it is rare that a rock band can turn heads and start whispers. Despite the odds, Anagen has drilled an indelible niche into the Texas music scene, blending guttural melodies, crashing rhythms, and jaw-dropping guitar solos. Through their high-energy, overwhelming performances, this four-member outfit transcends esotericism and gives their listeners precisely what they desire to hear. To put it simply, Anagen is everyman's music. Sean Claes of INsite Magazine defined their sound as "Bon Jovi meets Velvet Revolver."

Formed by former college classmates, Lance Kotara and Tyler McCollum, Anagen was completed in January 2004 with the addition of bassist Justin Perez and drummer Steve Hudson. Though relatively new to the Texas music scene, their deliberate and mature sound has gained them access to some of Texas' premier stages. This has allowed them to share the stage and schedule shows with bands including Warrant, Skid Row, Stephen Pearcy of Ratt, Soul Asylum, Faktion, Slave the the System, Copeland, Molly Hatchet, Double Trouble, Jars of Clay, George Lynch, Fastball, and Dexter Freebish.

In May 2005 the band released its debut album, Long Way Still, to excellent reviews. The self-produced album, mixed and mastered by Mark Hallman(Eric Johnson, Jimmie Vaughan, Ani DiFranco) at The Congress House Studio, is a ten-song, tour de force of power-chord rock. Their single "Fall" is on rotation at Austin's 93.7 KLBJ and is generating sensational reviews.

Come join the burgeoning ranks of Anagen fans and hear the future of rock music. Their debut album title notwithstanding, Anagen may be even closer to success than they may let on.