Save us from the Archon are a 4-piece experimental outfit from Southwestern Pennsylvania that pride themselves upon a totally unrelenting brand of instrumental math rock/hardcore, just as charmingly melodic as it is brazenly technical. This 5-track EP begins with some guitar feedback and plodding percussion, before a soft and happy riff takes us into “If you Understood me, the Roots Would Have Grown,” a track full of dynamics that sound a lot more subtle than they likely are. It’s a short tune, clocking in at a mere 1:45, and comfortably ending in a fashion similar to that of its beginning.
The following track, “You’ve Drifted So Far” kicks in quickly with a frenzy of noodling and some hyperactive, head-bopping grooves. Some unexpected, high-pitched tremolo picking and percussive blasting about a minute into the track is a sort of dissonant way of transitioning a smooth passage to an even smo
other one, and it doesn’t really work in context (at least for me). That “smoother” passage grows a little more chaotic towards the end, and effectively melds into the third track, “Brightness Will Bloom from the Seeds that You’ve Sown.”
“Brightness Will Bloom…” is probably one of the more structurally chaotic songs on the EP, which honestly isn’t saying much given that there really isn’t any particular recurring, distinctive theme in any of the songs, for better or for worse. As a note, I’d like to add that while I love the sheer chaos and slick unpredictability of it all, the guitars’ limited range and incessant speed become slight pet peeves for a lot of the record. That said, this third track offers a welcome break with a much slower, more patient, prettier passage and some distinct employment of the lower strings, almost as if they knew exactly what my criticisms would’ve been at that point.
The track continues on, more chaotic than ever, until a drum intro abruptly tromps us into “Days Lengthen Without Sunlight,” arguably one of the more accessible songs on the EP. The little melodic runs in between the chords are full of diversity but transition smooth as hell, contributing to the catchiness of the song’s main melody.
“Someday You’ll Remember; I Carried You Always” closes out the release, with drumming taking up more of the limelight, actively and creatively following every quirk and nuance in the schizophrenic guitar leads. The latter half of the song is probably the most repetitive minute of the entire record, but in all honesty, it’s hardly even repetitive in the first place: just consistent. The song ends with some feedback, and you’re left sitting there like, “what the fuck did I just listen to?”
Overall, the quirky melodies and unpredictable variances scattered all throughout this EP are an absolute treat to hear for the most part. Although the somewhat limited guitar range and unrelenting high tempos coupled with the persistently chaotic runs gets bothersome after a while, the band seems to have an uncanny instinct for knowing when exactly to calm things down, for the listener’s sake. This band is a group of songwriters just as strange as they are creative, and just as technically proficient as they are fun. So I guess my only real criticism is that there aren’t really enough musical breaks for my taste.