Monday, October 02, 2006

Archie Bronson Outfit – Derdang Derdang (Domino)

Stylus Magazine
Writer: Justin Cober-Lake
Stylus Rating: B+

“The songwriting and composition makes the frequent garage/blues-rock comparisons shortsighted. While the UK band has tapped into the Southern gothic tradition, they resist becoming a part of it. Part of the joy of listening to the new album comes from the rush of near-relations that prove irrelevant just as the ABO train knocks them off the tracks.”

* Forceful correction of common misinterpretations by other media outlets is very much needed in criticism, and when it’s spot on, as this one is, it’s important that the reader gets the most accurate information and perspective.

“Even with its use of repetition and cross-reference, the album doesn't have a moment of excess. Windett may sing that he's "just dust and lust," but he and his band have put some craft into elevating, not that truth, but that fear. In doing so, they've sacrificed neither skill nor feeling, allowing the combination to feed into something bigger.”

* Another confident statement – excellent, especially coming in the concluding paragraph.

This writer has listened to this album through and through. His in-depth look at the lyrics shows he wasn’t cleaning his apartment while spinning the record – he displays an intimacy that every writer should strive for in a review. Everything is direct and to the point, without fluffing, and more importantly, sans the obligatory knockdowns that writers feel they need to include to sound objective.

Review Rating: 91%

Writer: Alan Baban
Cokemachineglow Rating: 65%

“Twenty puckered assholes crushed like mangos against the ramp -- if my memory serves me well, the peroxide bozo who had flagrantly disrupted Yo La Tengo’s set with requests for “MR. TOUGHHH!!” collapsed in a laughing sweat. The water cooler fountain had turned to steam; the Archie Bronson outfit executed coup after coup of bone vibrato, eschewing the Picnic and just plugging into the mainline. Those who bothered to turn up for their noontime Electric Picnic session in Dublin were treated to three south Londoners somehow evincing the embryonic murmur of Viking conquerors.”

* Awful introduction. Nobody knows what the hell you’re talking about, and as a quarter of the review, this is a waste of space, time, and energy – and it deters the reader from moving forward to hear what you have to say.

“Ultimately, there is enough great material here to keep a solid fanbase interested, and Derdang Derdang will no doubt attract new followers. The revolution, however, will have to wait: this recorded sound comes nowhere near their full-throttle potential; this album introduces the Archie Bronson Outfit minus their desensitising party trick; this collection disguises the fact that its better songs could swing like nooses on fire, titillating the tainted love of over-embellished Franz-a-likes if they were swimming a bit more left of the dial. The actual results simply leave this debut as a promising pamphlet manifesto, and not the Maenad-swarming rally cries their live show would have you expect.”

* First, use spellcheck (writer's fault just as much as the editor's). Secondly, again with the incoherent ranting. Thirdly, this isn’t their debut. The actual results of this review are conclusive: it's shit.

Read the remark above regarding shit. He rips the production – the producer is Jacquire King, who engineered most of Tom Waits’ 21st Century albums, Kings of Leon’s Aha Shake Heartbreak, and Modest Mouses’ acclaimed Good News... Not a bad resume, but the point is that King has proven he is able to give the proper sound to the specific artist. On a side note, Hotel, one half of The Kills, produced their first album, Fur.

Review Rating: 16%

Writer: Lee Fullington
Prefixmag Rating: 4 stars

“Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, the band's second full-length is the juddering result of what happens when you lock three English guys in an old and possibly decaying farmhouse with just their instruments and then thrust them off to the American South to see what kind of feral voodoo claws its way into a record. This album is so dirty you can see the filth caked under its fingernails. It's garage rock, sure, but it's so much bigger and heavier and totally bloody-knuckled from a bar fight.”

* A few statements that end up not having a lot of support, but to the writer’s credit, it’s a short review, and he makes statements like he knows what he’s talking about…

“It's all the frustration of wanting to be with your lover when she's not there, a feeling that's heightened because the taste of her lips is still on yours -- probably because you bit hers and drew blood.”

* …and though the review lacks specific examples from the lyrics, the writer obviously understands the spirit and meaning of the album. Regarding examples, again, it’s a brief review, so you can get by without them.

“Jacquire King is a beast of a producer. The drums on "Dart for My Sweetheart" are heavy and hollow, as if they're in a huge warehouse and all the air is getting swallowed up in the toms. "Got to Get Your Eyes" is sinister, a contusion of noise. It's so heavy that it made me queasy.”

* That last line is perfectly simple, bringing home his point.

Decent mid-length review, but it’s missing a solid conclusion, and as stated before, that will hurt any review. However, the writer gives the basics so well that it’s difficult not to praise his efforts, and the reader will not have a problem understanding what this album is about and whether they should pick it up or not.

Review Rating: 76%


Conclusion From Reviews:
This album is catchy, is about unrequited love, combined with the desperate teeter-totter of wanting it back and wanting to get over it, and is heavily laced with sexual desire. The Archie Bronson Outfit do not fall into any one hole of sound – they have created a style they can call their own. There’s no doubt it’s good, but it is apparent that it’ll come down to individual taste to determine whether you’ll like it, like-like it, or love it. Sample and see.

The actually has a nice little bio on Archie Bronson Outfit. Being on Domino has been a curse just as much as its been a blessing, with Franz Ferdinand and the Arctic Monkeys overshadowing ABO the last couple years. The kicker is that ABO may be the best of the bunch.

Found Archie Bronson Outfit Tracks:
1. Cherry Lips
2. Kink
3. Dart for My Sweetheart
4. Got to Get (Your Eyes)
5. Dead Funny
6. Modern Lovers
7. Cuckoo
8. Jab Jab
9. How I Sang Dang
10. Rituals
11. Harp for My Sweetheart

Cherry Lips (this video is definitely rated R)
Dart For My Sweetheart
Dead Funny

ABO is touring the United States at the end of October. They're hitting LA, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, D.C., Philly, Cambridge, and NYC.

Additional Listening:
Tom Waits - Coney Island Baby (from Blood Money)
Kings of Leon - The Bucket (from Aha Shake Heartbreak)
Kings of Leon - King of the Rodeo (from Aha Shake Heartbreak)
Modest Mouse - Float On (from Good News For People Who Love Bad News)

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