Arrows - Try and Stay Upright (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Try and Stay Upright (2010)


Arrows are at once patient and vulnerable on Try and Stay Upright, a six-track, nearly 28-minute EP with drifting, emotive indie rock (or indie-fied emo) à la Penfold and Pedro the Lion.

The vocals take a little getting used to: They have that trademark strain, but they're particularly husky and sandy for the style. Someone like the Sainte Catherines' Hugo Mudie actually comes to mind. But after a few listens, the band's thick plod seems to gel with it well, and it becomes clear just how moving the EP can be at times. Twinkly guitars and a thumping drumbeat guide the tender "Calling Your Sponsor", a desolate narrative of debilitating alcoholism (something of a theme here) to provide one such example.

While Upright can feel a little background-y at times, there are little traits about that are worth perking up for. "Always with the Leaving" has that signature sparkle out of the Mineral playbook, but also the most subtle bit of country twang for something extra. There's some organ keys strewn about that add a warm, textural layer to things as well. Closer "No Prizes for Pioneering" might be the most gripping song here, with intricate drum fills and a swaying, involved motion.

This Australian band puts a relatively unique spin on this style with so many variants on it out right now. Try and Stay Upright is certainly worth your time if you follow that.

Try and Stay Upright EP