Keyboard sweeps and epic songs (e.g., "Husam Husam," featuring the Anniversary's best hippie lyric, "Drink mother's milk and be free!") place the Lawrence, Kansas, quintet above most of their Vagrant Records labelmates in both ambition and skill. Sure, there's still the jagged timing and lyrics about girls who've gone, but the Anniversary brings enough good humor and melody to even its more typical songs to keep them interesting.
When a band has the kind of music that pretentious music writers describe as "lush," there's a danger that it won't be able to deliver the goods onstage. The Anniversary squashes this reasonable concern with a legendary stage show, complete with bombastic lights and pyrotechnics. Rumors of a giant floating pig were unconfirmed as of press time.