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Archie Bronson Outfit - Derdang Derdang

Archie Bronson Outfit, Derdang Derdang

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

ARP Cleveland, of Archie Bronson Outfit, says of their new album, Derdang Derdang: “We wanted a record that was still groovy but tough, and something that could draw you in without being just a “rock” record. We talked a lot about dada and I tried to make the lyrics have a feeling of abandonment and three or four meanings. It was important to me to write about painful things in a childlike way. The simple stuff has often taken a complex route to get there.”

With this in mind, it’s fair to say the band has achieved its objective – although the mix of high-strung energy and kick-bollock ramshackling might not appeal to all.

Spearheaded by the distinct, yet off-kilter vocals of Sam ‘The Cardinal’ Windett, the album is a jagged, edgy listen that’s delivered in a no-nonsense way.

The guitars are crisp, the hooks catchy and angular but the style somewhat incoherent. When it’s good, the album succeeds in producing tracks like Dart For My Sweetheart which drips with menace and quality. A former single, the obscure vocal style (a sort of strained indie-punk version of John Lydon) mixes well with the spiky guitars and haunting backing vocals.

It’s a mix that’s less satisfying on Cherry Lips which fails to make the most of its fiercely intense riffs, or Dead Funny, which feels and sounds like low-grade Talking Heads.

Got To Get is a better fusion of angular riffs and anguished vocals, while Jab Jab offers some interesting alternative melodies thanks to some low-key riffs and a more restrained vocal style. The backing vocals even hint at 70s era Rolling Stones.

The best is saved for the final two tracks, however. The hauntingly atmospheric Rituals hints at experimental Doors, while the acoustic ballad Harp For My Sweetheart showcases an altogether different side to the band which leaves you aching for more.

Sadly, it’s too late to save the rest of the album from becoming a little too angular, a little too off-kilter and a little too repetitive. Rather like watching the film Capote, and hearing Truman’s strange accent, this is likely to turn off as many people as it impresses because the style is just a little too difficult to get on with.

Harp For My Sweetheart is all too short but it does at least show that Windett has plenty more in his locker should he decide to in the future.

Track listing:

  1. Cherry Lips
  2. Kink
  3. Dart For My Sweetheart
  4. Got To Get (Your Eyes)
  5. Dead Funny
  6. Modern Lovers
  7. Cuckoo
  8. Jab Jab
  9. How I Sang Dang
  10. Rituals
  11. Harp For My Sweetheart