Take a moment, before pressing play, to look at the picturesque cover of the Clock Ocean – EP by Archive Nights. Note the brightness of the moon, dominating and fluorescent, hovering in a midnight purple/blue atmosphere. See how the light reflects gently off of the waves of the ripples of the water. Appreciate the depth of color and attention to detail that went into such a simple picture. Do this, and you will have just brushed the surface of the music to come.
Now, go ahead and press play, and be greeted by “Clock Ocean.” The vocalist has impressive range, able to hit both deeply low and impressively high notes while only stepping in the middle briefly to get to the next sound. It doesn’t take long to start bobbing and rocking along with the fun, catchy and creative beat, particularly near the end.
The next song “Can You Be the Grey?” shows just how in sync each musician is with each other, and with the overall tone of each song. The drum creatively keeps the song moving without being boring; the bass handles the low end wonderfully, weaving in and out of the rhythm guitar parts, which complements the lead guitar; and on the top of it all are the nicely toned vocals that sweetly present the meaty lyrics.
“Goldmine” has a little touch of the surf rock vibe, almost reminiscent of the music in the Emerald City stage of the Sonic Adventure game. You’ll notice that “Why I” has a fascinating riff that pauses, wraps, layers and stacks all throughout the song.
The guitar blasts the door open on “Hanging To Dry” before the sultry vocals even make an appearance. I can’t help but envision myself belting out every high, low, and sharp note at the top of my lungs, along with the careful plucking of my signature air guitar, and the rhythmic shaking of my head to go along with the drums. This is the kind of song, with all the right flavors, that should play on radios throughout the nation.
“Help Within” ends the album strongly with a melody comprised of a double step guitar beat followed by a cascading slew of notes that may make YOUR fingers sore. Each part adds its own unique punctuation to make each bar different from the one preceding it, though the rhythm is rather complex in itself.
Note, I listened to the album on Soundcloud, and the order was a bit different than on Bandcamp. That said, every single song was absolutely riveting from opening to conclusion, and I often found myself wanting to listen over and over again just for the freedom to focus on different parts each time through. This was an album I did not want to end! I sincerely hope these guys find their way to the radio and become known in households around, as the sort of musicianship and creativity contained within these five songs is hard to come by. Fantastic work!
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