Arrows Over Athens - As These Roots Grow
Record Label: Self-Released
Release Date: May 27, 2010
It seems like when most small bands release an album on their own, it comes across slightly flat. You can generally tell the band has some good ideas, but the execution isn't quite there yet. Songs tend to get repetitive, as the band depends on the same safe formula too often. Arrows Over Athens, on the other hand, has pretty successfully avoided that pitfall. The young band out of Massachusetts has presented us with a slick seven track disc that does quite a good job of keeping the listener's attention.
The band's main attraction is its two headed vocals, offsetting male and female. The pair have a good sense of each other, as the two fit well together. Each track generally features one of the singers as the main vocalist, while the other handles supporting duties, for lack of a better term. However you phrase it, the style works. You definitely get the sense that the two are working together, instead of fighting for airtime.
The vocals are obviously not all that makes a band, however, and Arrows Over Athens' other two members hold their own quite well. The album features tight drumming and guitar work that not only displays a bit of talent, but also keeps the record moving. The two feature quite heavily on the record, with several portions seeming to focus on the instrumentation, with tricky guitar parts and drum sections thrown in throughout the seven songs. The most impressive part of the record might be the fact that it not only stays as energetic as it begins, in fact knocking the energy up a level on the fifth track, "Must Be Dreaming", a standout on an already solid record.
Overall, Arrows Over Athens presents a very solid freshman debut with As These Roots Grow. The band shows an impressive ability to keep up the energy over seven strong tracks. More than that though, the band feels like they enjoy what they're doing; their hearts are clearly into the music, and it comes through in their disc. Even young, they know how to write catchy songs that stick in your mind, and show an impressive inert ability to balance their talents with each other. Overall, this band is well worth giving a chance.
This band is a local in my city and I wish I'd gone to see their free acoustic show the other month instead of waiting to hear their recorded songs on myspace. Anyway, nice review, and this band deserves to be heard.