A male-dominated Arizona rock scene can't stop Ana Log from rising to the top

This is a band to keep an eye on.

Outside a windowless dive bar, a strong feminine voice belts out musings on love and life. A guitar slides between powering chords, talking to the songstress while a bass fills the room with chords all to a heartbeat of drums. This is Ana Log, a shifting force of rock and roll purity with a self-titled EP to match.

Self described as an alt-rock band, the group's songs feature dusty western-style guitar licks by Matthew Lissy while Josh Bors carries immense weight throughout the songs with bass lines all riding on top of Jacob Reber’s unshakable drums. 

While already a solid lineup in and of itself, singer Melody Michelle’s powerful voice guides the listeners into the clutch of the songs to never be let go. Lissy went on to add how every piece is without the needs of the other, and this is reflected in the writing process.

“It’s all kind of random," he said. "I think the song 'Lady Killer' got started from a drum beat. The song 'Believe' started with a lick I had. Then Josh started creating a bass run and then I built off that. It’s very organic.” 

While each member strives to be cohesive, they also focus on maintaining individual space within songs and it shows in the music. The guitar work often slides around to accentuate the vocals, while the bass work supports the band without being singular and uninteresting throughout the songs. All of these stem from a mutual love for 90s music, a sentiment Bors expressed.

“It’s nice playing in a four-piece band," he said. "I get to play bass and rhythm at the same time so I don’t have to follow the guitar. I can do my own thing and (Lissy) can do his own thing. That’s how we were influenced to play. I grew up listening to Rage Against the Machine, System Of A Down, Beck. That’s just how they play."

The cohesiveness of the music finds full form when paired with Michelle’s vocals. Her voice is soulful and powerful and never out of place contextually. She has the ability to use restraint and knowing when to blow the crowd away is a symptom of her extensive experience as a live singer from other projects. The singer writes from a place of someone who hasn't been heard, and in a local scene dominated by male voices, Michelle maintains confidence in her sound.

"I wanted to be a singer because I felt like no one would listen to me until they heard what was coming out of my mouth when I sang," she said. "I feel like it’s the only way I can get a message across."

All of this was on display as the band played at The Rogue Bar Saturday in Scottsdale with a plethora of friends. The concrete walls and lack of windows forced the crowd to sit at the bar or connect with the band, but everyone chose the latter due to the power Ana Log exudes. 

True to form, each member exists in his or her own space on the stage, but the connection among each of the members during the group's performance is palpable.

As the band flies through the songs off of its EP, each track doesn’t rely on individual moments, but rather puts emphasis on building tension within the entire set. Songs like "Lady Killer" and "Hold On" are powerful and move the crowd with high energy, while reserved cuts like "Believe," "Runaway" and a new song called “You” shows off the band’s ability to be seductive and more emotive.

As the performance comes to a close, the bar couldn’t get enough and begged for another song. The band obliged with an unnamed song. The concertgoers continued to beg for more, but the band declined. 

Ana Log’s performance left the crowd asking for more in the best way possible. This is a band to keep an eye on.  

Reach the reporter at dloche@asu.edu or follow @DMLoche on Twitter.

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