Archimedes, Watch Out! – In Context

Archimedes, Watch Out! the pop punk sextet from Lubbock in Texas certainly have a fun and appealing name to grab attention but do they have the sounds to back it up was the question going into their debut album In Context. Their previous A Face for Radio EP of two years ago certainly suggested this was a band on the march and it has to be said the new album has more than fulfilled that early promise. It comprises of twelve vibrant and energetic slices of melodic punk brought with great enterprise and craft, each song a well thought out and presented riot of rock n roll.

Drawing influences from the likes of Motion City Soundtrack and New Found Glory, those flavours easily apparent throughout the release, the band know how to write captivating songs with structures and imagination to intrigue and satisfy. It can be argued whether the band have yet found a unique identity for themselves yet as the songs really do not offer anything openly brand new to devour but with their obvious great creativity and accomplished ability the band has created an easy and deeply agreeable companion.

Released via Search and Rescue Records, In Context lights up the air straight away with What About Smee?, the song a flaming surge of sharp guitars, great vocal harmonies, and abrasive energy. Offering pop punk with a snarl and addictive hooks, the track is an instant brawl to engage in with no hidden aspects or testing elements. It is an easy start which sets things up nicely without igniting any great fires but instead tones the senses for what is to follow.

From the song alone one can only be impressed with the vocals, Dalton Claybrook a frontman with a clear and powerful delivery backed up excellently by the rest of the band at times, making for a perpetual anthemic feel on the song and album overall. The following Inspired By True Events has a more even paced attack with finely sculptured melodies and reflective emotion. The bass of Evan Wallis is ear catching, its gnarly breath a great presence whilst the female vocals which join the fray midway are a great piece of enterprise.

With a twin guitar attack alongside keys from the combined might of Austin Light, Tommy Loewen, and Mason Parkman driving each song, as on the likes of Breakable Things and Bad Tattoos, credit must go to the production which allows they and the aforementioned bass of Wallis and drum skills of Jeff Stringer a real clarify to their presence within the bustling furnace of sound. The first of these songs has a definite Fall Out Boy feel whilst the second reminds of bands such as The Wonder Years and Motion City Soundtrack, both offering great aural diversions and unexpected moments at times to eagerly applaud.

At times songs if given less than full focus carry a similarity across their feast of sound though that core noise is unstoppably infectious, a brew to greedily enjoy. With strong attention the album unveils great and compulsive ideas which as well as giving strong gratification suggests even further promise ahead. Songs such as Everybody’s Russian, Merry Christmas, You Filthy Animal!, the Green Dayesque Holding Out For Hours, and closing song Sullivan leap at the ear more readily than others with the vocals of Claybrook lighting beacons to each individual charge, to ensure the release captivates from beginning to end.

In Context is a catchy and openly pleasing release to spend plenty of energetic time with. Archimedes, Watch Out! is a band still evolving one feels which on the evidence of this their first album makes the future of the band rather exciting.

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RingMaster 05/10/2012

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