Archimedes, Watch Out – In Context
Record Label: Search and Rescue Records
Release Date: May 26th, 2012
As a huge fan of pop-punk, 2012 seems to be year that a lot of newer pop-punk bands are releasing debut records. That’s a fantastic thing, because I love a lot of these bands. I just came across Texas six-piece Archimedes, Watch Out a few weeks ago, and I’m surprised I haven’t listened to them sooner. They’re exactly the kind of pop-punk I adore. To put it simply, if you mixed The Wonder Years, Fall Out Boy, and Motion City Soundtrack, you would get Archimedes, Watch Out. This is a band that’s very impressive, and certainly one of the more unknown bands in pop-punk. That’s saddening, honestly, because this is a band that deserves a lot of attention. They’ve finally released their debut record “In Context” after a releasing an EP in 2010 called “A Face For Radio,” and honestly, “In Context” is surely one of my favorite records of the year.
The record starts off with the oddly titled, “What About Smee?” A few of the song titles on this record are very strange, and done in the more “joking” style, which I do like from time to time. However, it immediately starts off with vocalist Dalton Claybrook’s very unique voice and clever lyrics that bring to mind Fall Out Boy, and Motion City Soundtrack. After listening to the first two tracks, “What About Smee,” and “Inspired By True Events,” it’s clear to see that they are influenced by bands like The Wonder Years, Fall Out Boy, and Motion City Soundtrack. That’s a great mix, and those are also three of favorite bands. It only makes sense that Archimedes, Watch Out is another fantastic band. Both songs are well crafted, and it shows that they specialize in catchy choruses, but still have enough punk to still call them “pop-punk.” It’s a great balance, and they really pull it off well. The first two tracks are surely a two-punch; “Inspired By True Events” even features a female vocalist, which is a nice surprise. These two tracks really show what the band is made out of, while giving the listener a preview of what’s to come.
Throughout the record, there are loads of highlights. In fact, every song is a highlight. That’s hard to say about pop-punk records, because there are usually a few songs that you could call “filler tracks.” That’s not the case with this record. There’s also a lot of variety in this record, too; some tracks are more pop-driven with catchy choruses, but a few are clearly pop-punk tracks. It’s almost as if they took notes from Fall Out Boy, who employed the same type of tactics on their records. Third track “Breakable Things” is one of those highlights. It’s a song that has a chorus so catchy, it could easily be stuck in your head. The bridge also features a nice guitar riff that’s also quite catchy. Fourth track “Bad Tattoos” starts off with an interesting synth riff that certainly brings to mind Motion City Soundtrack. A few other tracks feature the synth, and each time, it’s done wonderfully. Fifth track “Everybody’s Russian” is much more pop-punk driven, and a few tracks are also done this way. However, no matter what sound the songs have, everything is extremely strong. A few other highlights include, “Merry Christmas, You Filthy Animal,” “Mike Dexter Is a Role Model,” and “Holding Out for Hours.” “Mike Dexter” features some nice gang vocals in the bridge, which really shows off their pop-punk influences. Another interesting track is “Don’t Turn Back Now,” which is a forty-four second acoustic track. It’s a great track, but it seems to be an interlude, if anything. It leads into the last two tracks, which are absolutely fantastic. “Sullivan” is a brilliant closing track, and it ends on the album on a very nice note. It’s a very memorable record, and surely worth plenty of listens.
There weren’t anything I had problems with on this record, however, the lyrics are rather generic for a pop-punk record. It’s not bad, but they do play it safe. I was quite impressed with the production on this record, however. It sounds very crisp and very clear. That certainly does help to its advantage. Basically, this is a record that I would recommend to any pop-punk fan. They’re in the gray area between pop-punk and powerpop, which is a great place to be. They have enough pop to appeal to fans of Motion City Soundtrack and Fall Out Boy, but enough punk to appeal to fans of New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday, and The Wonder Years. It’s the best of both worlds. I just hope they get much more popular soon.