Have I been listening to too much indie-rock lately? This
album seems to have a vaguely familiar feel, which borders
dangerously on the verge of unoriginality. Think of a
‘daring’ fusion of fellow New York City band The
Strokes, and English radiohead imitators Coldplay: now stretch
the resulting incongruity outover a whole LP, and you’ve got
Bows and Arrows. An overall rock feel with strained vocals but a few rich,
delicate tracks, gives the album an air of experimentation
lacking from some modern studio albums. The album opens with ‘What is it to Me?’, an
off-kilter, track reminiscent of Tom Waits when he employs his
more carnival-esque sound. This sound is fast becoming familiar
in indie rock, with groups such as Animal Collective and Mystic
Chords of Memory using it, to varying effect. Second track, ‘The Rat’, will be familiar because of
recent radio airplay, but if you’re a fan of this tune,
don’t get too excited since it is by far one of the best
tracks on the album. The songs shift from quiet, waiflike tunes to full-blown rock
extravaganzas, with little inbetween, leaving neither type making
for easy listening. This leaves an impression of an album with a grainy,
less-thantuneful sound, and a droning style that requires the
insensitive ear of a hardened indie-rocker. Whilst such a juxtaposition is definitely not my cup of tea,
if you like yours strong and slightly stewed then give it a go.ARCHIVE: 1st week TT 2004