Wednesday, 25th April 2018. 8:48:07am ET


ARTIST: Architects
ALBUM: Vice
LABEL: Anodyne Records
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
DATE: 6-4-08

Architects- Vice

Not to be confused with Daniel Myer's similarly named experimental techno project, Architects are a Kansas City, Missouri-based foursome who play raucous, punk-tinged rock 'n' roll. With their driving bass, infectious guitar hooks, and sing-along choruses, you might mistake such songs as "Jersey Shore" and "Hard Times" for party music, but for all their gusto, these guys have a dark side. This album's first single, "Pills," comes off like celebration music until you realize it's about getting messed up on prescription painkillers and beating up your mother. On further reflection, it actually comes off as a bit preachy. Much better, though, are the straightforward story songs. "Daddy Wore Black," a cautionary tale about a drug dealer, comes off like a Midwestern take on Rancid's "Time Bomb," minus the ska, and "Oklahoma" is a bloody country-punk revenge story. A tale of a crooked sheriff who gets what's coming to him, it recalls a more boyish Social Distortion. If "Oklahoma" paints a less than flattering picture of official authority, "New Boots and Truncheons" cements Architects as cheerleaders for the underdogs; with its celebration of street protests turning into brawls, it's an all-American version of The Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man," updated for the 21st century with a shout-along chorus and a defiantly anti-Republican attitude. Fighting a losing battle against riot police never sounded so fun, and that's really what makes this such a great album; instead abrasive attitudes or snottiness, Architects cloak their anti-establishment tales in music that's rooted in the classic rock elements of big dirty drums, simple guitar riffs, and choruses that stick in your head. Sometimes that's a much better way to get a point across than just screaming at the top of your lungs, and there's no question it works here.

Learn more about Architects from the Anodyne Records website at www.anodynerecords.com.


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