Alone Together is a rather intriguing and thrilling album from Swiss band Archers and Arrows, a release which as much as it pleases and excites equally instils further immense promise for the band ahead as it evolves and explores a truly unique voice to its already quite distinct invention. Though it does not quite continually ignite the fiercest fires inside the album nevertheless thrills with its peaks and engages fully in its less individual moments.
Bringing influences of the likes of The Lawrences Arms, Further Seems Forever, Hot Water Music, Mae, and Thrice to their sound, the 2009 formed quartet of Sebastien, Nicolas, Bunty, and Yves conjure a stirring mix of punk, melodic hardcore, and indie. The band first drew strong attention in their homeland with their self-titled debut EP of 2010 which earned Archers And Arrows good radio play on Swiss national radio satiation, Couleur 3. Since then the foursome has furthered their reputation with impressive shows alongside bands such as The Gaslight Anthem, The Bouncing Souls, The Get Up Kids, The Chariot, Polar Bear Club, and Roger Miret (Agnostic Front). Their debut album one suspects is set to trigger a wider enthused awareness and from much farther afield such its impressive and evolving strength.
Opening track Innocence takes no time in scything through the ear with tight sonic grooves and melodic teasing before the excellent vocals take their place in the already captivating song. With every note and syllable the track has a fresh and crispness to its engagement which startles and warms the appetite. Arguably it provokes and suggests more than it delivers in uniqueness but all the time there is the feeling and expectation of greater things waiting to emerge from the appealing start and constantly it offers enough to keep one captivated whilst brewing a hunger for more.
The following Numb/Dumb steps from the closing strains of its predecessor with a delicious bass twang and indie hook persuasion beneath group vocal harmonies. Settling in to its stride there is a dissipation of that initial seduction into something more expected but the band are in control and twist the song with various asides and unexpected detours within the purposeful destination of the track. Again great vocals and accomplished imaginative guitar play leaves flavoursome rewards whilst the energy and agitation of the rhythms and passion brings an intensity which settles nicely alongside the melodic beauty.
My Own God, Sing To The Wind, and the hard-core veined Self-Made Man continue the strongly convincing invitation of the album, all again offering inspired imagination and skilled enterprise which has one irresistibly focused to each swerve of the songs within their triumphant mix of styles but each also not quite going through with all their ideas to leave one a little dissatisfied as they also involve familiar essences well-worn elsewhere.
The second half of the album though is where things creatively explode as the band is at its most riveting and inspired; songs where they step aside into their own distinct spotlight. Danse Macabre offers a gentle hand at first though its rhythms are biting at the bit to involve an eager gait. Soon they get their way as the track opens up its presence with a dual emotive weave of expressive vocals, senses jangling guitars, and anthemic rhythms. The song is a delicious stroll of a band freeing up its imagination and heart, a contagious and emotive recruitment which leaves a heated ardour in its wake.
The title track and Dirty Hands both rise to the challenge and stand side by side in quality and stature to the first of the three. Alone Together merges a coarser vocal delivery with melodic flames which singe the ear with passion but tempers the acidic touch with addictive anthemic choruses and precise seductive hooks. It is pure pop with punk intensity and raw emotion, an inciting and thrilling piece of triumph. The third of the trio also carries a raw breath to its sonic victory and further inspires, with its co-conspirators, thoughts of how immense the band could and should become on the evidence of they and the album as a whole.
The closing Emergency offers one last treat in excellent female vocals which assist its lasting firm caress, the song completing an album which grows and impresses more and more with each sharing of its companionship. Archers And Arrows is a band to watch very carefully and Alone Together is the perfect starting point.
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