Able Archer – Bullets EP | Review
Electronica and rock music are not always the easiest of bedfellows. Very few bands have enjoyed prolonged success while exploring both genres as the dual core of their main sound. When it works though, the results can be glorious.
There’s no doubt that heavy rock is at the forefront of this EP by Dublin band Able Archer. However, the subtle synth and electronic sounds provide an extra dimension and colour to the music that sets it apart.
The intro to Superhuman is reminiscent of a more sedate ‘Get Ready’ period New Order with Dave Gahan on vocals and production by Dave Grohl – as weird a prospect as that may sound. The keyboard sounds create a platform for the guitars to be more effective as the mix allows both instruments room to come to the forefront without getting in the way of the song itself, a common theme throughout.
On Bullet, the vocals are throaty and stirring, very Chad Kroeger like but without the cringe-rock tendencies. It’s got all the elements to be huge hit, a hook-laden intro, a soaring chorus and a perfectly placed guitar break that absolutely melts the wannabe guitarist in you.
Patches is moody. It bobs and weaves before ascending into a lively and menacing chorus with a fantastic rolling bass line. New single, The Great Henry Watt, is the most dense rock number on the EP. It’s got a bluesy, Black Keys-esque intro that again leads to a huge chorus.
While a little one paced, this is a very strong, melodic and sonically pleasing record that will gratify heavy, melodic rock fans, while still offering them that something a little bit different. It’s unpretentious, short and to the point (all the songs are in the three to four minute range) and it will age well despite the reliance on synth sounds.
Think of an odd concoction of Soundgarden, Nickelback but with flecks of Depeche Mode and just the slightest touch of New Order’s awkward – but brilliant – disco-rock and you’ll be somewhere along the way to describing ‘Bullets.’