Local boys The Archives were the first band I saw at Canadian Music Week 2012 in Toronto. They are very much a young band and also a group in transition: their online bio tells of the line-up changes and reforming this four-piece have done since first coming together in late 2009, while their new EP Transitions says it in it’s title. Those are the written facts, but it is The Archives performance that is the most telling: there is definitely room for improvement in both the performance and the music. This should come as the band grow and develop.
What I heard from The Archives at Lee’s Palace sounded a bit too much like I was listening to some kind of showcase by local Toronto alternative rock station 102.1 The Edge. Depending on your viewpoint and hearing, that could be a compliment. But I do not listen to mainstream alternative rock radio; especially not to The Edge – (if I want to hear Nirvana, I’ll just listen to their records, rather than every hour on The Edge with all the other crap in-between.) The Archives are rehearsed and assured enough for a young band finding their feet, but their music is bit too polished, too predictable. They do, however, sound much better live than the studio-recorded tracks available online, which are expectedly even more polished.
There were some decent riffs and beats but no big hooks. The breakdowns and changes that punctuate many of their songs were the big plus mark. These accents and sharp corners kept me interested to the end of their set. Just. Lots more sharp corners and a few hairpin bends to their music, and The Archives should happily avoid ending up in generic alternative wasteland. Otherwise, the road ahead is straight and lacks any notable landmarks.
Â© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice
Internet link: The Archives
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