Archimedes, Watch Out! recently released their debut full length In Context, and the Lubbock, Texas band definitely shows signs of promise.
Texas-based six piece Archimedes, Watch Out! return to Pop-Punk with their debut full length In Context, a follow-up to 2010’s A Face for Radio EP. The band cites Motion City Soundtrack, Fall Out Boy, New Found Glory and The Wonder Years as their primary influences, and their inspiration really shines through sonically throughout In Context. The band really seems to have found their niche, with catchy choruses abound but with just enough Punk edge to save them from being written off as cheesy radio Pop.
The record opens with the one-two punch of What About Smee? and Inspired by True Events, singer Dalton Claybrook's lyrics and delivery call to mind some of the catchier Alkaline Trio songs, and in some places sound like they could be straight off of an Into it. Over it. record. The instrumentation sounds polished and well produced, factors which really stand out as the record continues. Austin Light’s synthesizer really draws the listener’s attention on Bad Tattoos and Merry Christmas, You Filthy Animal! which helps both tracks stand out in while fitting snugly between Breakable Things and Everybody’s Russian, two songs that should fill fans of New Found Glory with glee.
The chorus, backing vocals and Nick At Nite reference on Mike Dexter Is A Role Model brings some Wonder Years-style and tongue in cheek self-awareness to the record. Stranded feels like a familiar Pop-Punk jam, with the final gang vocal chorus making for a perfect set closer. The dual guitar work from Tommy Loewen and Mason Parkman allow Holding Out For Hours to stand out as one of the strongest tracks on the album. Don’t Turn Back Now is another Pop-Punk staple, a short acoustic ballad to prepare the listener for the record’s closing act. Clocking in at under a minute, the song almost operates more as an interlude than anything else. The entire band is firing on full cylinders in the penultimate track, Strong Kids, Safe Kids. Evan Wallis' basslines and Jeff Stringer's steady drumming carry the song through the album’s strongest gang vocals and into a melodic outro, which fades into the last track, Sullivan. The track serves as a nice summary of everything that has come before it, and once again it seems the band brought out their best for a big finish.
Lyrically, the album doesn’t take any risks; AWO stick to the principles of the genre and cover familiar ground. Despite this, there’s not a cringe worthy line to be found, which allows the songs to stand strong as a collection of sing-along anthems. While more personal lyrics would certainly help the band develop further, it’s not something that particularly holds them back. In Context may not be win over anyone who isn’t already sold on the genre, but if you’re not a fence sitter, you’ll certainly find something to enjoy.
Written by Frank Campisano IV