The former Snow Patrol guitarist goes solo and makes the listener experience a...
Niky Daley 2004
There is an air of melancholy that pervades Iain Archer's new album Flood The Tanks. It doesn't wallow in it however; it's more reminiscent of Radiohead's introspectiveness. On Archer's first single "Running In Dreams", indie guitars come to the fore which is in contrast to the more down-tempo and charismatic follow up "Boy Boy Boy". The more mellow mood gives space for his voice to breathe and displays his range.
Blatantly a sensitive soul, Archer spent time working in a homeless hostel and it's hard to hear lyrics such as "I can see through your pride 'coz your heart's on inside out" without thinking that he drew some inspiration from his time there.
"Not Yourself" continues this theme of disenchanted and disenfranchised characters. "Your dreams are all static and white noise". With the aid of the melody, building harmonies and accompanying brass, Archer manages to turn this painful tale into a thing of beauty.
"Does This Have A Name" would not sound out of place on an Aqualung album, being an acoustic ode to overwhelming emotion. Yet just when you thought that the former Snow Patrol guitarist had gone completely soft on us "Summer Jets" picks up the pace saving the album from becoming a dirge. The tone then becomes very bitter in "I Wasn't Drinkin'" with acerbic lines like "I had no trouble 'til you came to help" - Alanis Morissette eat your heart out!
If you pick up on people's emotions then you could find Flood The Tanks quite an exhausting listen as Archer takes you through a rollercoaster ride of feelings. The instrumentation and tempo match the differing mood of the songs that vary from melodic to more dissonant, but his vocals are very easy to listen to and carry you through. It might take a couple of listens to really grow on you but open those floodgates!