Music: Arc by Everything Everything

everythingeverythingFOLLOWING the band since the release of ‘Final Form’ from their debut album, Man Alive, released in 2010, I was eager to hear Everything Everything’s new work. The band have matured, musically and lyrically, earning them a spot on the young, alternative British band scene.

It has been a long wait for Arc, from the release of ‘Cough Cough’ in October last year, but I’m afraid to say I found the album a mixed bag, a collision of different ideas that didn’t quite seem to musically match-up.

The album opens with ‘Cough Cough’ and ‘Kemosabe’, two songs that really highlight the band’s uniqueness and ability to create a different music experience, but then the album begins to move into the less-polished area.

‘Torso of the Week’ is an example of this. It really is a strange mixture. It has a brilliant chorus that’s been carefully composed, but there are moments in the song don’t seem to match; an experiment that hasn’t quite paid off. ‘Duet’, the track that follows, doesn’t particularly stand out on the first listen, but it is a grower.

‘Amourland’ is the song, besides the two that have been released as singles – ‘Cough Cough’ and ‘Kemosabe’ – that truly stands out from the rest of the album. It is a beautifully constructed synth-y ballad, but without the cheesy connotations of the song type we know. I think this is the pinnacle of the album that reminds us of the band’s potential and skill, a mixture of music and lyrics that is successful. However, this seems to fade as the track that follows, ‘The House is Dust’, loses the momentum that the last song worked hard to create.

Then, just as we’re ready to dismiss ‘Armourland’ as a fleeting moment, ‘Radiant’ follows with its brilliant yet poignant guitar moments. The building of instruments led by a strong drum beat chimes well against the lyrics, creating a song well and truly deserving of a single release.

Following ‘Radiant’, the album feels like it is about to fizzle out with the second to last track, ‘The Peaks’. The song has good lyrics, but the musical side really lacks the texture of the previously mentions tracks. The sparse feel of the composition does not support the cleverness of the lyrics. But then, again, the anticlimax of the previous track is forgotten, as ‘Don’t Try’ picks the pace back up, and you remember why you liked the band in the first place.

The other songs carry the aforementioned tracks, not notable enough to stand alone, even including the song the album draws its name from. This mixture of quality is what holds me back from awarding the full five stars. It feels like the album, unfortunately, lacks the stamina to have the excellence I know the band is capable of. As a whole, however, the album is a fantastic experiment, creating a harmonious collage, questioning lyric norms and the narratives we have become accustomed to in the music scene today. A* for effort.