Archimedes, Watch Out!

In Context

Written by: TL on 03/01/2013 20:06:35

Despite my liking for pop-punk I must admit that I haven't been able to keep up with the genre as much as I would have liked in 2012. I've yet to really get into the much talked about albums by Handguns and With The Punches, and I've been late to get into this one, "In Context", the debut LP from questionably named, upcoming Texas sextet Archimedes, Watch Out!. It's one I've been glad to eventually make it around to however, because this is something as unusual as a fun-filled, eclectic and characteristic pop-punk record, emerging in a sea of commendable yet almost indistinguishable 'realist pop-punk' bands trying to become the next The Wonder Years.

That said, "In Context" does not have Archimedes.. sounding all that much unlike the keyboard-featuring early Wonder Years melodies that blew the band up on 2007's fast-paced "Get Stoked On It!". They are however, a slight bit more polished, especially with the vocals that feel to me like a hybrid between TWY's Soupy and "Take This To Your Grave"-era Patrick Stump. More importantly though, this first album of theirs manages at least a small handful of the kind of songs you just need to write as a pop-punk band: The devilishly catchy ones which you'll be singing along to parts from almost already on first listen.

The first highlight in my opinion is the romantically themed "Inspired By True Events", which sees the singer with a slightly down-beat Matt Skiba-ish edge to his singing, and which rises to one of those classical pop-punk choruses - complete with toy-keyboard melodies backing it up - that just makes you sing along every time, and which throws in a nice extra nuance with the female guest vocals in the bridge. "Everybody's Russian" stands out too, but in a different way, all break-neck speed and bright guitars in the verse and high-strung, almost Cartel-ish melody in the chorus (which is again catchy as hell), and "Stranded" and "Mike Dexter Is A Role Model" only further explore the band's flair for charming infectiousness, while "Strong Kids, Safe Kids" reveals a vintage-emo influence with how the song fades to a slow-burning outro towards the end.

Actually though, most of the songs on "In Context" appear really quickly like ones you can develop a warm sentiment towards after only a few spins of the album, and that's really what speaks the loudest about the band's potential I think. The sound is pop-punk, distinctly though not indistinguishable, and the flow and dynamicism of arrangements, tempo-changes and lyrical delivery just come right out and tells the listener "dude, this band is talented". Put together Archimedes, Watch Out! show the personality and the flair for songwriting that makes you want to return to "In Context" and further investigate it's potential and that my friends, is a sureshot sign of quality.

8

Download: Inspired By True Events, Everybody's Russian, Mike Dexter Is A Role Model, Stranded
For The Fans Of: Fall Out Boy (circa "Take This To Your Grave"), Motion City Soundtrack, The Wonder Years (circa "The Upsides"), Sparks The Rescue
Listen: facebook.com/archimedestx

Release Date 26.05.2012
Search and Rescue Records

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