Archimedes, Watch Out! - A Face for Radio
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: May 7, 2010
I started writing this as a Who?/How Is It? type of review, but I immediately realized that I was going to have too much to say about this album to legitimize that format. However, for the sake of organization and to limit your need for outside research, I'll use this introduction paragraph as the Who? part of the once-over review. Archimedes, Watch Out! are a six-piece pop punk band from Lubbock, Texas. Their debut EP, A Face for Radio, is a seven song, 26-and-a-half minute nosedive into a pool that has been peed in by several successful pop punk bands that came before them. What I mean is that the group's sound takes influences from a collection of different bands, so rather than being another run-of-the-mill debut, A Face for Radio sticks out and grabs the listener's attention.
Fans of the genre will have no problem getting into Archimedes from the first word uttered in the first second of the first song on this EP. A gang vocal cry of "Congratulations!" kicks off the EP and prompts a fast-paced, Rise Against-esque guitar riff accompanied by relentless drumming. In short, the first 20 seconds of this EP are an excellent window into the remaining 26 minutes. More gang vocals litter the opening track as well as the entire EP, and also thrown in are synth lines that bring about similarities to Four Year Strong. However, the vocals on A Face for Radio are more sugary than most pop punk groups in today's scene, reminding me slightly of Derek Sanders' vocals from Mayday Parade. The poppier-than-usual vocals fit in better than expected and make Archimedes, Watch Out! more accessible to a large audience. This is evident on the next track, "Carolina", a song with an extremely catchy chorus that can be enjoyed by a fan of Set Your Goals as much as a fan of Forever the Sickest Kids.
I can't deny that the EP is fairly repetitive, but at only 26 minutes long, it isn't enough to bother the listener as you essentially don't have enough time to really notice it. The synthesizer is extremely well-used in "Family Three", sounding like some early Motion City Soundtrack before soaring into another sing-along chorus. The last song on the EP, "Honestly (Between You and Me)" is a generic end-of-album acoustic song about a boy who likes a girl. The only reason it stands out is because of the guitar work in the song. The band don't dumb down the guitars for their acoustic track, but rather play as if they were still breaking it down in their garage instead of relaxing in the living room.
A Face for Radio is short, simple, and altogether nothing special on its own. You may be thinking that you don't really need another band who play guitar-driven, synth-laden songs that are more poppy than they are punk. Well, if you check out one band this year with a comma and an exclamation mark in their name, it should be Archimedes, Watch Out! These guys have serious potential and, with better production, could bring their choruses that already stick to your tongue to sky-high status. They would fit in nicely on more than a few labels I can think of, and with the right resources I think they have the potential to make a big splash in the genre. Friendly enough to be compared to Mayday Parade and All Time Low, but still edgy enough for the pop-punkers, it's only a matter of time before Archimedes, Watch Out! find their niche.