Blood & Chemistry
06 May 2013
by Gavin Lloyd
Ever since Arcane Roots started seeping into people’s consciousness, there has been one comparison that has repeatedly been brought up. A little band who have recently scored a number one album and completed a sold-out arena tour of the country by the name of Biffy Clyro. There’s no disputing the two bands have their similarities, with frontman Andrew Groves even looking pretty similar to Simon Neil.
The band’s debut Blood & Chemistry doesn’t show any signs of these comparisons going away any time soon. The similarities with the Ayrshire trio go far beyond facial hair, though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Like Biffy, Blood & Chemistry offers a heady mix of disjointed riffs and off-kilter rhythms, all served up with an acute pop sensibility. It is a master class in dynamics that regularly sees the likes of ‘Energy is Never Lost’ and ‘Sacred Shapes’ sense of controlled chaos crumbling under the weight of gargantuan choruses.
However one of Arcane Roots strongest attributes – and perhaps key to escaping the Biffy mark two bubble – is the vocals on offer. Groves possesses an astounding range all delivered with an earnest and heart breaking sincerity. Case in point being the majestic ‘Belief’ that contains more beauty in its five minutes than the constant wave of You Me At Six wannabes clogging up the UK could ever dream of writing. Yet this is often complimented by the surprising yet very much welcome larynx-ruining vocals of bassist Adam Burton. They add a raw scrappy punk edge to the guitar twiddling on offer, turning it into a much more visceral beast.
Watch the video to ‘Slow’ by Arcane Roots:
Will Blood & Chemistry see Arcane Roots steal the crown from Biffy Clyro as the nation’s favourite rock band? No, but that doesn’t stop Arcane Roots from being one of the most promising rising bands of today. There’s enough on offer here to prove they’re far from simply a record labels desperate attempts to clamber aboard the bandwagon (Remember In Case of Fire? No. Don’t worry, nobody does). Arcane Roots’ debut is a victory for rock music that can be intelligent and interesting, while still having enough of an accessible edge to (hopefully) permeate the mainstream.
Sounds Like: You know who it sounds like.
Standout Tracks: Belief, Sacred Shapes, Held Like Kites