Archimedes, Watch Out! - In Context
Record Label: Search and Rescue
Release Date: May, 2012
Every single item of press I’ve read about the Texas group Archimedes, Watch Out! (AWO) has made mention of two things:
1 - They sound like a mix of Fall Out Boy, New Found Glory, Motion City Soundtrack and The Wonder Years, and,
2 - They generally have promise as up-and-comers in the scene.
I suppose the direct band comparisons are obvious, and for the most part pretty fair. AWO’s brand of lyrically driven pop punk is both well trodden and safe. In truth, none of the sounds on their debut album In Context are very unique. However, that has not stopped a number of other acts from putting together an enjoyable record. This is the case with Archimedes’ latest twelve-song stint –it’s pretty solid all the way through. The band nails some of the elements that the legendary names they associate themselves with have made a living on, while missing others. Ultimately, the record doesn’t live up to its influences, but it should certainly put the new guys on the map.
One of the best showcases of talent among the six-piece is opener “What About Smee?” which boasts some intricate word play from front man Dalton Claybrook. Vocal delivery is one of the strongest elements the guys have going for them, including well-mixed background vocals featured throughout the record.
Second track “Inspired By True Events” turns the vibe of the first song on its head, easing things back to a mid tempo and a laid back vocal approach. It’s in these first two tracks that the band is at its strongest, showcasing a couple of well written songs as well as a diverse sound scape only seen in today's strongest groups.
Standouts on the rest of the record become less frequent, but tracks like “Everybody’s Russian” deserve to be mentioned. There’s a great level of emotion in both the vocals and layers of sound in the track, proving this band knows what it takes to push their sound to its peak. The only real problem with the record is that they don’t achieve this same level of ‘togetherness’ with every song. Writing falls flat on songs like “Stranded” On others, there just isn’t enough there sonically to hold my interest.
What it all boils down to for AWO is this; yes, they’re already drawing comparisons to some stellar bands –but all those bands are still producing music. Sure, that should initially be seen a good thing, but in order to progress they’re going to have to find a way to carve out their own identity. For me, the music and the writing is good enough to draw my attention, but not good enough to keep it when I could be listening to other bands that are doing what these guys do better. Then again, this is how most of the other big names in the scene started at one point. There’s nothing on In Context that makes me believe Archimedes, Watch Out! won’t be around for another full length album.