A/V Room









Iain Archer - Flood The Tanks

Review: Jack Foley

IAIN Archer has been around the block a little bit. Just glancing at his biography, gives you a fair idea of the long road it has taken for the singer-songwriter to deliver this debut effort.

The talented musician is hitherto best known as guitarist of the Reindeer Section and Snow Patrol, and contributed tellingly to that band’s overdue success on the single, Run.

In solo form, it is clear that much of what Archer has been forced to endure, and subsequently learn, has translated to the overall tone of the record.

Flood the Tanks is, therefore, a gutsy debut; one which deals with the universal issues of loss, struggle and discovery, but one which, by the singer’s own admission, contains an uplifting message based on a profound belief in the resilience of the human spirit.

It starts very brightly, with the Coldplay-inspired opening track, Pressure Drop, and continues to hold your attention to the midway point, where it begins to tail off a little.

Yet it does mark Archer out as a bright talent to watch, rather than a guitarist-turned-singer who really ought to have known better (as is the case with John Squire).

Tracks such as former single, Boy Boy Boy, contain a genuinely rousing, feel-good quality about them, while the presence of Snow Patrol, on closing track, That One You Always Do, even encapsulates the esteem with which he is held within the industry.

Archer states that, on this record, he wanted to ‘pick apart what is assumed it means to be a singer songwriter, stripping it back until I felt I had reached bare bones’, and describes the process as an ‘unlearning’.

And certainly, there is a raw quality to the lyrics, born out by the artist’s personal journey to the point where he thought an album was possible from him.

Hence, while comparisons with the likes of Coldplay, Badly Drawn Boy and David Gray seem almost inevitable, it does just enough to mark the singer out in his own right, especially given the obvious passion he objects into proceedings.

For some, this may be a little ponderous, and the album does tend to sound a little repetitive late on, but during the opening tracks - such as Running in Dreams, Not Yourself, Summer Jets and I Wasn't Drinkin' But You Got Me Drunk - there are very definite glimpses that Archer is a name to look out for in the future.

Flood the Tanks is, for the most part, a very accomplished debut.

Track listing:
1. Pressure Drop
2. Running In Dreams
3. Boy Boy Boy
4. Not Yourself
5. Does This Have A Name
6. Summer Jets
7. I Wasn't Drinkin‘
8. A Few Conclusions
9. The Shadow
10. That One You Always Do
11. Mirrorball Moon

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