[sic] Magazine

I Concur – Able Archer

‘Hits The Target’

It’s been some while since I Concur appeared on one of the influential Dance To The Radio compilations and unleashed their debut EP. Two years of stewing away from the scene seems however to have served the Leeds band well.

Tim Hann’s strong vocal captures a wide-ranging subject matter, varying from the relatively local Stott Hall Farm on ‘Build Around Me’ (the iconic landmark that sits between the carriageways of the M62), to the more worldly on the purposeful ‘Sobotka’ (a character from gritty TV series The Wire), all the way to the unfortunate errors of the Korean stem-cell biologist Woo Sung Hwak on the so-so strum-along of ‘Decimal Places’.

Comparison could be drawn with fellow Loiners iLiKETRAiNS, and although less literate, their similar approach to non-obvious songcraft, along with a healthy side order of knowing dourness, stand the pair in good stead. Better likeness looms from across the pond in the gloomy shape of post-punkers I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness. Their fraught guitars and bleak builds to crescendo are pleasantly consistent with those on offer here.

I Concur themselves readily concede to a love of all things Mogwai and it shows. Here, a spike of post-rock interjects, there, the needle swings firmly to rock. Evidence for the latter is no better heard than with the clashing drums and chugging guitar of the title track. The swift but affecting, reverb-heavy ‘Iterate This’ is sure to stand a few hairs on end and whet a few appetites.

Able Archer is very much as it purports to be, hitting the target a lot more often than it misses. Certain latter-half tracks, such as ‘Your Words, Your Dialect’, remain credible, able if you like, but miss the urgency and impact of the openers. Initially gaining attention when ¡Forward, Russia!’s At The Drive In-like yelps, This Et Al’s convincing Bloc Party impression and The Pigeon Detectives regrettable rise into high unit-shifters had Leeds alight, I Concur now find that scene barren. Clear of deadwood, they may find the time is now right to flourish.