Able Archer – Scars


Offering a flavoursome taster of their debut album, due for release in October, Irish band Able Archer has just released new single Scars. Previously the Dublin quintet band has revealed a strong ability to create tracks which arouse the spirit, emotionally ignite the imagination, and stir the listener with anthemic strength. Now they show a fresh and broader adventure to their sound which, though going by just the one song, suggests it will be a key character of the impending Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro) mixed and produced full-length.

Formed in 2011, Able Archer soon earned a potent local following which branched out as the likes of 2013 debut EP, Bullets, and its successor The Trouble with Strangers two years later, caught ears and imagination alike. Singles like Ghostmaker and The Warden have especially been potent in drawing fan and online radio support and with a live presence to match their adventurous sound Able Archer has established themselves as one of the most exciting propositions to emerge in recent years. It is too early to tell if their album is going to be the trigger to breaching greater attention and spotlights but Scars suggests it is certainly a possibility.

Scars is more of a slow burner compared to the likes of Ghostmaker yet it only needs one listen to leave an imprint, its depths and layers becoming more vocal over subsequent ventures. Rhythms and keys take a hold first, their introduction soon entangled in the melodic suggestiveness of guitar before vocalist Emmet McCaughey shares his distinctive tones. With the infectious stroll of Diarmuid Breathnach’s bass aligning with the equally contagious invention of guitarist Rob McDonnell and the mesmeric lure of Neil Buckley’s keys, the song is soon a magnetic roar with a rising intensity to match the emotional charge of the vocals.

As suggested, the song warrants time to unveil all its strengths but from the first moment with the swinging beats of Seán O’Connor key, Scars captivates while hinting of something to eagerly anticipate in the shape of the band’s upcoming album.

Scars is out digitally now.

Pete RingMaster 01/09/2016

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Able Archer – The Trouble With Strangers


A full thrilling meal rather than an appetiser of things to come, the deservedly acclaimed and outstanding Bullets EP thrust Irish band Able Archer straight into the eye line of European’s rock underground. Now the Dublin quintet return with its successor The Trouble with Strangers, revealing that their first encounter was no flash in the pan but just one shade in their emerging eclectic and highly flavoursome sound. The four song release is a fascinating and mouth-watering treat for ears and imagination, a proposition which tells expectations never to make assumptions about the band as it reveals new depths and adventure in ideation, songwriting, and their realisation.

Formed in 2011, Able Archer has barely taken a breath in their assault on the live scene, persistently brewing up a potent fan base whilst honing their compelling sound along the way. Bullets last year was a forceful slap upon a broader attention, instantly raising keen appetite and an acclaiming spotlight upon themselves. Now the band spice up their emergence and reputation with Able Archer and Shane Cullen co-produced The Trouble With Strangers EP, and a sizeable compelling offering it is too.

The EP opens with the riotous Ghostmaker, a track which bridges the band’s two releases with its raucous and tenacious energy aligned to new intriguing adventure. From its rowdy countdown the track is a predator in so many ways but as the swiftly engaging tease of guitar shows, it is also a seductive protagonist. Thumping beats make an imposing lure whilst the explosion of raw riffs and grouchy bass bait ignites senses and passions with brawling ease. The track soon settles into a feisty but more composed striding, the beats of drummer Seán O’Connor unrelenting in their drive whilst the gorgeous bass growl crafted by Diarmuid Breathnach is the perfect complement to the potent expressive vocals of Emmet McCaughey. The track grows and bulges with enterprise and imagination through every tempting note and voracious syllable, variation in vocal attack and melodic flames as gripping as the almost cantankerous intimidation elsewhere. The track is exceptional, an intelligently and passionately sculpted anthem few encounters have rivalled this year and last.

As mentioned there is as much new in direction or imagination in the song as there is drawing on the Bullets EP, but it is with the following enterprise of The Warden that a richer vein of exploration is unveiled. Opening on an electronic trouble_covercaress within a shimmering atmosphere, the song immediately grips the imagination, especially when sultrily toned guitar weaves begin enveloping ears. The tapestry of evocative colour and enterprise from guitarist Rob McDonnell is bewitching as is the fluid tempting of Neil Buckley’s keys, both excitingly contrasting the shadowed corners of the song revealed by the haunting expression of throaty bass and rolling drums. The glorious picture of sound is completed by the outstanding delivery of McCaughey, every word coming with a controlled but opened drama matched by backing harmonies. Not as immediate as its aggressive predecessor, the song blooms into a stunning and inescapable seduction; brass flames presented by guest Donagh Molloy rich hues on a sensational encounter.

Third track Only Love has a more agitated energy and intent to its opening, percussion and beats a feisty baiting upon which vocals find a raw breath. Keys soon smother ears with melodic elegance and emotive expression whilst the blaze of guitar casts a twisting flame of charm and abrasion. It is only part of the story though, twists in pace and intensity aligned to the same in imagination and varied rock flavouring keeping ears and thoughts wrong-footed whilst seducing them with their creative maze. It might not have the power and contagion of the first two tracks but the song is just as magnetic in its electronic seeded adventure.

Every song to this point is openly distinct to each other in sound and breeding, and that continues with closing track The Descent. The band’s new single is a melodic kiss of impassioned and intimate vocals, similarly emotive keys, and warm melodies. Drawing on the sizeable beauty and emotional drama of again Donagh Molloy’s trumpet and the tantalising violin craft of Eanan Patterson, the song croons with striking radiance and invention. Though for personal tastes it is when Able Archer lets rip that our passions ignite, there is no denying or avoiding the majesty of the track and its excellent conclusion to a tremendous release.

With The Trouble With Strangers, Able Archer show there is so much more to their expansive landscape of sound and invention, whilst it also suggests there is still further potential and imagination waiting to be tapped. There are few new bands, or established come to that, which ignite an almost lustful anticipation for their releases and even fewer which reward and surprise as impressively as Able Archer.

The self-released The Trouble With Strangers is available now @

RingMaster 10/11/2014

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Able Archer – Ghostmaker

able archer

    Bowled over by their debut EP Bullets last year which led to us actively playing the band on our podcasts, Able Archer has returned to give the emotions and passions another shot of adrenaline with new single Ghostmaker. Continuing where their outstanding debut left off but infusing a stronger rapacious energy and rawer breath to the song, the Irish band once again proves themselves to be one of the most exciting and promising, not forgetting accomplished, emerging alternative rock bands around.

     Hailing from Dublin and formed in 2011, the quintet has been extensively gigging and building a fevered fanbase from almost day one, certainly once a settled line-up was in place. Bullets was an exceptional bow into a welcoming spotlight, igniting thoughts and emotions across the underground media and fans alike, its exposure of the band sure to increase in intensity with the release of Ghostmaker. The new track has a fire in its belly and greater causticity in its touch compared to the tracks on the previous release but still does not neglect or lessen the contagious hooks and rhythmic enticement which made them become a rather irresistible proposition.

    A bellowed countdown makes way for an initial tease of guitar from Rob McDonnell; that punctuated by the pumping beats of drummer Seán O’Connor. It is a short but incendiary trigger to the explosive heart of the song, its expulsion bursting as a fiery blaze before settling into an earthy stroll with the ever impressive vocals of Emmet McCaughey and the throaty bass prowl provided Diarmuid Breathnach adding their bait to the already tempting premise. Virulently infectious from start to finish, choppy guitars, predatory basslines, and the immersive if often submerged keys of Neil Buckley combine to infect the imagination with an ingeniously addictive and potently suggestive design of sound and sonic incitement.

   Released ahead of their new EP scheduled for an unveiling this summer, Ghostmaker leaves you exhausted and basking in another irrepressible slice of Able Archer excellence. This is a band unafraid to intrude on and toy with the senses whilst providing a riot of sound and adventure which simply leaves a greedy hunger for more.


RingMaster 17/03/2014

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Able Archer – Bullets EP


It is hard not to get a little over excited when listening to a band for the first time and they spark a potent fire inside with honest and passionate music. Such is the case with Irish band Able Archer and their deeply impressive EP Bullets. The release is four tracks of inventive alternative rock which is as thoughtful as it is infectious and accomplished as it is compellingly imaginative; it is quite simply a richly thrilling encounter.

From Dublin, the band formed in 2011 and went through six months of line-up changes before finding themselves a settled quintet. In no time after the band was gigging extensively around their home city and earning an eager and strongly growing fan base as well as accompanying acclaim. With the release of the outstanding Bullets EP it is easy to declare the band is at the threshold of something major in their near horizon but also one suspects right on target.

The EP opens with Superhuman, a song which takes mere breath lengths of time to intrigue and secure concentrated attention through its inviting keys and expressive melodic enticement. It is a gentle enriching brew to start off the song soon evolving into a broader canvas for the heart of the track to unveil its colour. Stepping back into a reserved yet still keen energy, the vocals of Emmet 859709119656_cover.170x170-75McCaughey open the narrative and again impressed is the first thought at work. His tone and delivery hits the spot with strength and emotive poise, and with the throaty bass of Diarmuid Breathnach walking the electronic breeze of Neil Buckley, soon joined by the acidic shards of elegant guitar invention of Rob McDonnell, it is a mesmeric and refreshing encounter. There is a slight familiarity to the chorus it has to be said but a fleeting thought as the song continues to dance on the senses with elevated precision and seductive majesty throughout. It is a mighty opening to the EP which sets a high bar for the remaining songs.

The title track steps up next with the rhythmic tempting of Seán O’Connor carefully spearing another emotive wash of keys. The vocals are soon employed and throwing a passionate narrative into the expanse of building energy and melodic discovery. Arguably the song feels bigger and deeper than it is but that only confirms the might of the songwriting and its realisation whilst the caustic almost discord tainted invention which lines the call of the guitar, ignites a hunger to learn and feel more of song and band.

Third song Patches is the pinnacle of the release, the most impressive and insatiably contagious fascination offered. It starts with a slow tantalising piece of melodic and lyrical reflection, both McCaughey and McDonnell playing with and securing thoughts and emotions well before the keys tease with their own seductive caress. It is mere moments before the song captures the fullest rapture with persuasion firmly sealed with the cutting scuzz surfaced guitar strikes and adventure alongside the outstanding vocals. It is a magnetic stroll through a provocative and stylish soundscape, a masterful piece of invention igniting full ardour.

Closing track, The Great Henry Watt is a flume of electro flames seeded with an eighties breath through a passion soaked heart. Impossibly easy to ride its waves of melodic and vocal expression, the song reminds very strongly of Poets Of The Fall, never a bad thing and especially incendiary when added to the open imaginative talents of Able Archer.

The Bullets EP is an exceptional introduction to a band we are sure to hear a lot more of. Able Archer cut a scintillating figure with their stirring sound and has all the potential to stand prominently within European alternative/melodic rock.


RingMaster 20/05/2013


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