Band: Austin Archer
Title: Venture To Breathe EP
Release Date: 09/20/11
Reviewer: Josh Hamm
- Doubtful As They Come
- Venture To Breathe
- Your Hand In Mine
- Slurrey Sobriety
- All In
- Tongue Tied
This is a very raw release. Not “raw” in a Showbread way, just raw in how the lyrics connect and how the vocals come through. What’s odd though, is for an album as raw as this one to still have high production value.
This isn’t going to blow your socks off, maybe a loose fitting hat instead. It’s not a release or a band where you realize that you instantly have to share this with the world. It grows on you though, and it’s a great starting point for a band which I can tell is going to keep releasing quality music.
Lead by Austin Archer, who does vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboard, and the song writing, the band plays the classic instruments: guitar, bass, and drums. All are solid, but there aren’t very many moments where any particular instrument shines. The guitars do stand a head above the rest, being at the forefront of each and every song. They have some catchy riffs, especially on “Venture to Breathe,” and remind me a bit of Edison Glass at times.
The music as a whole is quite mellow and toned down; it doesn’t hit you over the head with sound, but it still arrests your attention. It’s evident that Archer knows how to build and maintain unique atmospheres to each of his songs, from the sinister tones of “Venture to Breathe” to the wistfulness of “All In.”
The lyrics aren’t jaw dropping, but they do reveal a devotion to deeper subject matter than most bands, as well as a propensity for catchy choruses at the same time. There is a darker mood at work, with serious themes being dealt with.
One of my favourite songs was “Slurred Sobriety” which features some insightful and very heartfelt lyrics about alcoholism and its emptiness. It also has a great musical build up from soft whispered vocals and instruments leading into an emotional hard and heavy ending. “All In” is good as well, but “Tongue Tied” is great as the closing song. Archer sings out passionately “My hands in full stride/ my feet are tongue tied/ can my body rest before I go?” The whole song is recognition that in all of our work and striving we can’t succeed on our own.
Overall: This is an excellent preview, a taste of what is to come. Austin Archer’s sophomore release is full of promise and worthwhile tunes. There’s a lot of potential with a very raw approach to singing and song writing as well as strong lead guitars and being different enough to stand out but unique enough to pique interest. You’ll be hearing a lot more of these guys in the near future.
RIYL: Edison Glass, Cool Hand Luke, My Epic