Has there ever been a worse time to start a band? No gigs on, indie venues dropping like flies and rehearsal and recording studios closed. Yet, despite all this, West London-based The Archways have managed to produce a debut single with real promise.
Having snuck in their debut (and only) gig a week before the first lockdown last March was imposed, a riotously impressive and sweaty affair at the 100-capacity Basement Door in Kingston, future gigs were put on hold. In the constraints of their suburban bedrooms, the newcomers begun to craft their refined post-punk sound, inspired by current indie champions like Sports Team but without neglecting the groundwork laid by punk pioneers like Elvis Costello and The Clash. After a rapid recording session, the debut track was released just before the close of the year.
The single 'Quit and Do Fitness' seems to be a bit of a cathartic confession of the lives and concerns of Gen Z teens. The record candidly tackles mature topics like body image, the role of the media and celebrity stardom - which admittably may be a bit premature. Delivered with lead singer Adam Marshall’s youthful yet empassioned snarl, supported by intelligent musicianship, the track is hard to fault as a debut single. From an opening bass rumble to an anthemic bridge ending with a splitting solo, the song is certainly tailored perfectly for a room of (naturally and chemically-enhanced) energetic teens - whenever gigs can return.
With so much uncertainty in the music sector at the minute, it’s hard to pinpoint when or where we will see The Archways next. However, one thing that is guaranteed is that the youth are more than eager to take on the baton of punk riffs and Strummer snarls.
Words: Tom Farmer (@tomfarmerjourno)