A horrible hack

Archers and Arrows


Year Released: 2010
Format: CD
Label: Shattered Thought Records - Sums
Reviewed by Tom Howells on Nov 10, 2012
Archers and Arrows sound far less like the gruff-inclined funtime stalwarts they mention on their press release—HWM, Latterman etc ad infinitum—as they do the kind of mid-paced filler on old Punk-O-Rama/Kung Fu/Hopeless comps; a nostalgic, skate-session distraction but otherwise wholly forgettable. Unfortunately, this is complemented by horribly garbled vocals, replete with some astoundingly awful mid- 00s growly backup nonsense. The trans-European enunciation and cod-impassioned bellowing means that the lyrics are largely indecipherable, which is lucky as they’re largely the kind of trite, sub-posi scribblings that come ten-a-penny in basements the world over, except here even the most sincere sentiments are somewhat lost in translation.

If this sounds like wanton criticism, it isn’t really meant to. Archers and Arrows are absolutely, achingly generic, which, given the style of music could easily be ignored. It just bores me to in to a state of glazed nonchalance, where at least other groups— see the entire Long Island scene post-Latterman—maintain a level of emotional resonance and gut-punch anthem-by-numbers appeal, something which this band conspicuously lack. On the upside, the fourth track on here, “Truncated Humanism” sounds much more—really, briefly, quite uncannily—like A Flight and a Crash-era Hot Water Music. That was a highpoint, which probably says everything you need to know.

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