Monday, 7 December 2015

Fallen Arches - Footprints EP Review

Fallen Arches is a solo project by fresh face Colin Bell. He appears out of the ashes of previous three piece outfit Sneaky Pete and from a brief glimpse at their work his solo project is more revision than revolution. The synth groove beats of his previous project have been mutated however, into more uplifting indie rock. Throughout the EP his distinctive Scottish voice firmly channels fellow countrymen like Snow Patrol and Twin Atlantic to develop an admittedly highly derivative lyrical sound. This sound can appear grating to many people but looking past it there is still a lot to admire.

The production and instrumentation included in this EP are really excellent. The little orchestral and piano elements again seemingly harken back to Snow Patrol and Coldplay in their big worldly pieces that feel massive, yet retain modesty and never veers into vain, elaborate self-congratulation. As musical pieces they sweep you up somewhat and even with the bane of modern pop rock, the acoustic guitar, being fully utilised this still leaves the instrumentation being sometimes very impressive.

My particular favourite track is probably "Footprints" with its cute piano piece which is highly, almost hopelessly optimistic which I think carries on through the theme of the song. Its choral outro also leaps out and wouldn’t be out of place with a crowd being the choir.

Despite this the main fault of the EP that is apparent throughout is the lyricism. It is to be honest pretty shockingly bad throughout. It is a shame really, in that it takes away so much from the nice instrumentation that is on show. It makes it really hard to recommend this EP as the lyrics do not feel like a forgotten part of the piece that aren’t to be harshly criticised but feel more like an integral part of the music that Bell is deeply affected by. This is why it is even more unfortunate that it went as wrong as it did on this record.

Even with the rather terrible lyrics, the instrumentations shines through and with every note written I can see Colin Bell and the Fallen Arches project growing in strength. I would be lying to say I recommend this EP fully though and would advise you to listen with trepidation.

Dominic Allan

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