First of all, what a great band name, Archimedes, Watch Out!, although it is a few hundred years late to warn the Greek mathematician, engineer and generally clever bloke about the stab-happy Roman who did him in.
This album is unashamedly pop-punk. It’s full of energy and catchy riffs, sounding a lot like early Blink 182, complete with shared vocal responsibility, à la Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge. I’m not entirely sure about the male/female duet that ‘Inspired By True Events’ becomes, but for the most part, the dual vocals work. On songs like ‘Breakable Things’, it works particularly well, with voices overlaying each other.
Most of the tracks are concerned with relationships, but some of it is quite original. For example, ‘You’re wearing me thin with your lies and bad tattoos / I’m saying goodbye’, is a fairly novel break-up line. Those would have to have been some really horrendous tattoos…
What surprised me about ‘Bad Tattoos’ was that lead vocalist Dayton Claybrook starts off saying ‘I’, and this develops into two people singing ‘We can’t take this anymore’. This proves once and for all that three-person relationships are difficult to maintain, particularly if one of those involved has George W. Bush’s face/a map of Middle Earth/a jar of Marmite inked across their back.
Just as things are about to get a bit too poppy and Fall Out Boy, comes the furiously quick strumming and half-shouted backing vocals of track 6, ‘Everybody’s Russian’. This is slightly misleading though, as the words fall some way short of hardcore: ‘Somewhere, you’re out there, ready to forgive/And I know that you’ll love me’.
‘Strong Kids, Safe Kids’ also starts off like it’s in a big hurry to get somewhere, before slowing down completely with a twanging guitar solo. For me, that marks it out as one of the few tracks here that offers something different. After a while, I found that “In Context” all blended into one, which is not helped by the eventually tiresome topic of girl trouble. Seriously, whoever wrote this stuff needs counselling.
The album’s not awful, but it just didn’t inspire me to join their fan club. Anyway, I get the feeling that if I did join their fan club, I might be the only non-teenage member.