ARCHIVE: With Us Until You’re Dead

Posted on 21 August 2012 by Bowlegs


I love the story behind this band – it inspires faith in folks holding on to the dream to survive from one’s music. Archive hail from my home town Brighton, one of the most musically diverse cities in the country, yet have failed to dent the UK market in sixteen years.

The music of Archive isn’t bad, it’s just not great. Opener Wiped Out is a like listening to a high school music project. Sporadic, over-distorted drums thump away under a gradually building MIDI synth section. The beat goes on and off intermittently with some other random 303 bass and stuff.

We are let off the hook and rumble into more melodic structures with blasts of cheap guitar distortion sounds on Interlace. Very good, but very 90’s.

Conflict’s pounding drums remind me of Underworld, and Archive’s music could fairly be described as rave, but with songs and a sort of rock emotion. It takes itself seriously. I’m sure the band’s audience does too.

Violently features lots of swearing and a cool riff which I would bet was a lucky jam turned into a song. It finishes with the pretty vocal singing “I remember how you died violently, in me.” Bad ass. It’s my favourite part of the album and it rocks.

Silent is a beautifully voiced pop song which could easily hold a spot on the charts, but again, maybe ten years ago. Twisting takes us to a dirtier place, actually, thinking about it, this could be really great for remixing, something I’m sure they are well on top of. These later tracks are bit like The Prodigy, circa Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, with a bit of Michael Jackson.

The puzzling thing is Archive have upwards of ten members, and I’m struggling to hear them all done justice. The band sure have a signature sound, but it’s sort of based on an already burgeoning ‘archive’ of artists, who have totally explored the possibilities of it. Been there done that. Sorry guys. Please don’t hunt me down.

-Andy Halliday-


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