A Thousand Arrows - Défaillance (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

A Thousand Arrows

Défaillance (2012)

Circuit Scene Records

Post-punk, post-hardcore, post-caring: what makes us categorize music in this way? Can't we think of anything new to say about something rather than link it to something that had already existed? Or is that it? By retaining that link there is some sort of credibility or marker for all to consider? Anyway, I doubt no one else cares about that and they just want to know about the Welsh (Cardiff to be exact) band, A Thousand Arrows.

Well, here's the thing: the band are clearly post-something but I'm not exactly sure what that something is. To me, A Thousand Arrows come across sounding like a cross between Thrice on steroids and Attack! Vipers! with the odd moment of the Foo Fighters thrown in for good measure. This isn't hardcore and it's not generic punk, but it certainly takes from both genres and combines it with some big metallic riffs as well as some more quieter moments as the band mosey on down many paths in songs that don't really have any particular structure and in some cases, any clear direction either. That last comment is not a criticism, more of a fact as some of the songs do seem to be constructed without a clear journey to an expected conclusion.

So, you've got the comparison to Thrice and Attack! Vipers!, the latter really being more the case overall than the former, and vocally there are a number of offerings here from two versions of the band: first is a more drawling, throaty delivery whilst the other is more of a straightforward rock/metal/blues style as found on the track "Thoroughbred." This track sits nicely in the middle of the album and for me is the high point, standing out across its five and a half minutes, displaying the band's obvious musical abilities at their best.

On the whole, I find that the album is a bit too cohesive if anything and I have trouble separating the tracks to get a more meaningful picture of the band. There is no doubting the musicianship and A Thousand Arrows don't do anything by halves, throwing a lot of effort and ideas into the tracks, but as an overall piece of work it's not one that I find particularly easy to take on board and more importantly, retain. I must temper that statement by noting it's a good sound and the music is well played and produced effectively throughout; there will undoubtedly be many people who are able to get a clearer picture from Défaillance than I can and I guess you will have to seek this out so you can make up your own minds on this one.