Review: Jack Foley
THEY'RE huge in Europe (especially France) but as of yet, British-based
Archive have yet to make a very big splash with UK listeners.
That could change, however, with the release of their latest
album, Noise, which arrives amid a resurgence in guitar-based
bands but promises to offer something different.
As the band state, in an interview
with IndieLondon recently: "There are enough bands out there
who want to be The Clash. I think people are bored and there are
some good and interesting bands coming up. Maybe it’s time
for us to sneak in."
Anyone who caught their Noise EP might know what to
expect - songs that are distinctly epic in nature, that build
vast soundscapes and aching vocals around some fairly urgent rhythms.
Think Pink Floyd crossed with Radiohead and you might be somewhere
close - such is the power and intensity of many of the tracks.
Former single, Fuck U, is a classic case in point, an
angry slow-builder that refuses to compromise on its sentiment
in an effort to generate easy radio airplay.
It was inspired by the band's feelings towards both US President,
George Bush, and British PM, Tony Blair, and is full of emotive
lyrics such as ‘there’s a look on your face I would
like to knock off… can’t believe you were once just
like anyone else’ and a chorus of, ‘you are scum,
you are scum, and I hope that you know, that the cracks in your
smile are beginning to show’.
It is easily one of the highlights...
Elsewhere, the epic scale of the six-minute plus title track
is evidence of the band's creative energy, as well as the ambition
that runs rife throughout their music.
While the aching Sleep unfolds against a backdrop of
pianos and strings to emerge as a tortured classic - a starkly
beautiful piece of work that drips in frustration.
The raw rock style of Get Out is another example of
the band exercising their anger through music and is delivered
with the sort of swagger that Liam Gallagher would be proud of.
But it is neatly counter-balanced by quieter, softer moments
such as Love Song and Me and You, which bring
the album to the sort of hopeful close you might not have thought
possible from earlier tracks.
It would be a shame if the UK failed to embrace Archive this
time around, given the quality of their music and the intelligence
of their words.
Noise may take several listens to appreciate properly
but it is an impressive affair that deserves a big audience.
Related story: Read
our interview with Archive