Able Archer
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Able Archer

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Alternative




"BBC Mixtape: 16 Mar 2015"

The BBC Introducing Mixtape is a 60 minute radio show broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music from 2-3am every Sunday night/Monday morning. Each programme is then downloadable in podcast form at the BBC 6 Music downloads page for the next 30 days. Full tracklists and start times for each track are published here at Fresh On The Net with information about the music provided by the artists themselves. Previous tracklists can be found via the MIXTAPE tab above or on the BBC website. - BBC 6

"Grunge with a hint of danceable New Wave"

Able Archer, an alternative rock band from Dublin, go for passionate songs from the Pearl Jam variety. being Irish they can't escape the influence of U2, but that doesn'get in the way of their love for grunge with a hint danceable New Wave. Their debut EP Bullets has written arena rock written all over it.

When rock anthems are your thing this quintet delivers just that - singer Emmett McCaughey has enough power to reach the upper reaches when they graduate to the big halls. Considering that they recorded the EP on a shoestring budget, the sound is pretty damn good, with the kind of separation and dynamics that Metallica has been looking for since St. Anger.

Able Archer:
Emmet McCaughey: lead vocals
NeilBuckley: keyboards
Rob McDonnell: guitar
Diarmuid Breathnach: bass
Seán O'Connor: percussion - Here comes the Flood

"It ebbs and flows, is ambitious and is just a little off the beaten track"

able archer

Able Archer are from Dublin,and are a band who describe themselves as being ‘without ironic beards or cardigans’, but yet still they manage to attract an increasing amount of attention in the circles that know. The band, made up of Emmet McCaughey, Rob McDonnell, Diarmuid Breathnach, Sean O’Connor and Neil Buckley have been together for a couple of years, and have recently released their debut ep, Bullets. They make melodic sort of indie-rock that takes its lead from the cream of the rock but they give it something of their own to mash it together into something enjoyable and original.

Opener Superhuman is a deft take on Bunnymen, U2 in the strongest traditions of Indie-Rock. It has it all, singalong chorus, these echo laden screaming guitar, breathing life into the track, working in tandem with this warm bass underlying everything. It’s nothing new, or experimental – but it is tight, and showy and very good indeed.

The title track of the ep follows, and although it’s initially static, it soon moves into this sort of post-Nirvana sound, but a cleaned up, clean-shaven Nirvana. Still through, the bass and guitar buzz and scream and rumble and propel. There are touches of the Chili Peppers, a funk guitar chord here, a bass gliss there, and although at times it also veers towards the sort of Rock you might find on Radio 2 playlists, but they manage to keep the reigns the right side of ordinary.

Patches is better, more interesting. Still engaging tunes (these boys can write a melody), still these fiery guitars, but with just a little bit of Radiohead of the Stone Age thrown in there, and it benefits. It ebbs and flows, is ambitious and is just a little off the beaten track when it can.

The EP ends with The Great Henry Watt, the single from the band, and it has a healthy dose of Biffy Clyro/Simple Minds about it. It’s chorus splinters, jagged with this synth sound that washes over everything. It’s exciting, a rush almost as it thrusts forward, driven along by the band as a whole.

So the band have influences. Every band has influences. It’s what they do with the influences that matters. And what Able Archer have done is very good indeed. - Back Seat Mafia

"A band of importance"

e get a lot of tunes sent in to review but few raise as many eyebrows around the office as “Ghostmaker.” This is a band of importance, a band that has the potential to put Ireland straight back to its front centre days enjoyed when Thin Lizzy ruled the world and Irelands angry Punks had a message that they made sure people heard. This is Irelands answer to the Foo Fighters, musical genius with grunge undertones, topped off by powerful rock aggression. Insanely addictive bass licks and a chorus that makes you want to hear it again as soon as the track is finished. This track quite simply could put Ireland back on the musical map. A track so driven you won’t even realise you have just given a small offering of your hard earned money over to iTunes.

Following on from their equally noticeable single “the Great Henry Watt” Able Archer are a 5 piece Dublin band that will be part of your collection, it is simply inevitable! The band has been around in one form or another for around ten years or so and that experience shows! The track will be released this summer as part of the bands E.P… We will keep you posted on further developments and gigs! - Sunset Radio

"This EP will take them far up the music ladder"

This new EP titled Bullets comes from five piece rock piece Able Archer, they have made their mark in Ireland with their mesmerising melodies that could be making their way to radio worldwide.

At first listen to their sounds I am instantly reminded of modern classic rock bands such as Muse, Soundgarden and Depeche Mode. Their music is most certainly unique with progressive type guitar riffs and soothing vocals that I can imagine would sound great live from small venues to massive arenas.

Going through the album track by track, Superhuman was the perfect way to start off the EP. It's catchy, infectious melody kept my ears happy and interested by what was yet to come on this brilliant EP. Title track Bullets provided us with another insight to the bands sound, it had similar elements to Soundgarden's grungy rock sound and some of Depeche Mode's retro guitar riffs and vocal style. This provides us the perfect combination of a rock band that I am sure will be an iconic part of music history. Patches is very upbeat and bouncy, this will be the song gig goers will bounce up and down to; very much like the Biffy Clyro song Bubbles when it is performed live. The Great Henry Watt is the final track on the EP that in way provides us with a cliff hanger effect; when the track finished it left me wanting more. I have provided a link to the video below.

So I can conclude that this EP will take them far up the music ladder and all I can say is, I hope they visit Southampton soon.

Words by Charlotte Whittingham

For fans of Soundgarden and Depeche Mode - Loud-Stuff

"Bullets is a solid and polished EP delivered by a confident band"

Able Archer are a five piece band hailing from Dublin making rock music despite the obvious handicap of their lack of “ironic beards or cardigans”. The band has been around for a couple of years with Bullets their debut EP.

Able-Archer bullets ep cover

The band clearly take influence from the melodic and the alternative styles of rock. This is immediately apparent on the EP opener, ‘SuperHuman’ which begins with echo-laden guitar, reminiscent of U2 or perhaps Foals. It’s the guitar part that is the stand-out on this track along with a powerful drum beat. Still it’s Emmet McCaughey’s vocals that move the song on with a chorus that’ll stick around after a few listens. The title track ‘Bullets’ moves in a similar fashion with some heavier parts in the chorus. The song has the sound of 90's alternative bands such as Soundgarden or Nirvana but certainly with a lot more studio polish. Emmet laments on the chorus, “And I don’t have enough bullets for everyone”. The guitar in the bridge is a particular delight despite it’s brevity.

‘Patches’ continues the formula with melodic guitar introducing the track and keyboard sounds supplementing the verses. The chorus parts kick in with vigour while the band back off again for the verses. The 90's influence comes out once again on the final track ‘The Great Henry Watt’. The guitar/bass riff paired with powerful, tribal drums could come straight off one of Pearl Jam’s first two albums. This is to my mind the strongest track on the EP. The chorus is big and the outro drives the track on to one last flourish, ending the EP. The Pearl Jam influence is again evident on the chorus with the vocals sounding a touch “Veddesque” in a great way.

Bullets is a solid and polished EP delivered by a confident band. Able Archer manages to mesh together alternative rock riffs and vocals similar to the likes of Pearl Jam with the melodic tones and polish of U2 and Depeche Mode. The band deliver all this in four short tracks which suggests there will be more to come. - Chordblossom

"This is a very strong, melodic and sonically pleasing record"

Electronica and rock music are not always the easiest of bedfellows. Very few bands have enjoyed prolonged success while exploring both genres as the dual core of their main sound. When it works though, the results can be glorious.

There’s no doubt that heavy rock is at the forefront of this EP by Dublin band Able Archer. However, the subtle synth and electronic sounds provide an extra dimension and colour to the music that sets it apart.

The intro to Superhuman is reminiscent of a more sedate ‘Get Ready’ period New Order with Dave Gahan on vocals and production by Dave Grohl – as weird a prospect as that may sound. The keyboard sounds create a platform for the guitars to be more effective as the mix allows both instruments room to come to the forefront without getting in the way of the song itself, a common theme throughout.

On Bullet, the vocals are throaty and stirring, very Chad Kroeger like but without the cringe-rock tendencies. It’s got all the elements to be huge hit, a hook-laden intro, a soaring chorus and a perfectly placed guitar break that absolutely melts the wannabe guitarist in you.

Patches is moody. It bobs and weaves before ascending into a lively and menacing chorus with a fantastic rolling bass line. New single, The Great Henry Watt, is the most dense rock number on the EP. It’s got a bluesy, Black Keys-esque intro that again leads to a huge chorus.

While a little one paced, this is a very strong, melodic and sonically pleasing record that will gratify heavy, melodic rock fans, while still offering them that something a little bit different. It’s unpretentious, short and to the point (all the songs are in the three to four minute range) and it will age well despite the reliance on synth sounds.

Think of an odd concoction of Soundgarden, Nickelback but with flecks of Depeche Mode and just the slightest touch of New Order’s awkward – but brilliant – disco-rock and you’ll be somewhere along the way to describing ‘Bullets.’ - GoldenPlec

"I can’t adequately put into words how strong this EP is"

lot of times, when I’m sent a band to review there’s usually a paragraph where the band in question write incredible things about themselves, which usually turns out to be the band bigging themselves up which usually results in disappointment. Able Archer are a five piece rock band hailing from Dublin, but that short description from the lads Facebook page doesn’t do them any justice whatsoever. What Able Archer have done on their “Bullets” EP is take some of the best elements of the 80's and bring them up to date, and throw a modern spin on it.

First track, “Superman”, sets the tone. Huge synth, delay effects on the guitars and a super tight rhythm section. The ace in this musical hole though is Emmet McCaughey’s vocals. They absolutely soar over the top of the music. While the structure of the song itself is your typical verse/chorus/verse, the music itself is strong enough that you don’t notice that it’s following the tried and tested formula. “Bullets” opens with a pulsing kick drum and bass, with the vocals over top. There are some seriously great, dark lyrics in this one such as “Don’t they know I’m a liar, I’ll tell them what they want to hear”. While it doesn’t look exciting on the page, the way it’s sung really makes it stand out. The chorus is incredibly catchy, and the chord progressions really make what could be a cheesy pop song into something more. “Patches” starts very quietly with just guitar, vocals and a simple but effective drum pattern, which bursts into a distorted guitar
driven chorus. Again, the vocal range on display is very impressive, and the structure of the song works a treat. The bands Depeche Mode influence really shows in “The Great Henry Wyatt” with it’s thunderous drum track and bass line, following a Gary Numan-esque wave of synth that opens it up, and the song builds to a rousing finish.
I can’t adequately put into words how strong this EP is. I’m a huge fan of dark 80's pop/rock and this fits that description perfectly. As I said in opening, it has a classic sound but with a modern twist. The songs are the perfect length for the type of music this is and everything about this EP just screams class. The musicianship, especially the aforementioned vocals are streets ahead of a lot of the stuff I get sent to review. Production is perfectly suited to the huge sound that the band are creating. These guys need just one big break and they’ll take the country by storm, and then with any luck, the world - Chew Your Own Fat

"Quite literally... a richly thrilling encounter"

It is hard not to get a little over excited when listening to a band for the first time and they spark a potent fire inside with honest and passionate music. Such is the case with Irish band Able Archer and their deeply impressive EP Bullets. The release is four tracks of inventive alternative rock which is as thoughtful as it is infectious and accomplished as it is compellingly imaginative; it is quite simply a richly thrilling encounter.

From Dublin, the band formed in 2011 and went through six months of line-up changes before finding themselves a settled quintet. In no time after the band was gigging extensively around their home city and earning an eager and strongly growing fan base as well as accompanying acclaim. With the release of the outstanding Bullets EP it is easy to declare the band is at the threshold of something major in their near horizon but also one suspects right on target.

The EP opens with Superhuman, a song which takes mere breath lengths of time to intrigue and secure concentrated attention through its inviting keys and expressive melodic enticement. It is a gentle enriching brew to start off the song soon evolving into a broader canvas for the heart of the track to unveil its colour. Stepping back into a reserved yet still keen energy, the vocals of Emmet 859709119656_cover.170x170-75McCaughey open the narrative and again impressed is the first thought at work. His tone and delivery hits the spot with strength and emotive poise, and with the throaty bass of Diarmuid Breathnach walking the electronic breeze of Neil Buckley, soon joined by the acidic shards of elegant guitar invention of Rob McDonnell, it is a mesmeric and refreshing encounter. There is a slight familiarity to the chorus it has to be said but a fleeting thought as the song continues to dance on the senses with elevated precision and seductive majesty throughout. It is a mighty opening to the EP which sets a high bar for the remaining songs.

The title track steps up next with the rhythmic tempting of Seán O’Connor carefully spearing another emotive wash of keys. The vocals are soon employed and throwing a passionate narrative into the expanse of building energy and melodic discovery. Arguably the song feels bigger and deeper than it is but that only confirms the might of the songwriting and its realisation whilst the caustic almost discord tainted invention which lines the call of the guitar, ignites a hunger to learn and feel more of song and band.

Third song Patches is the pinnacle of the release, the most impressive and insatiably contagious fascination offered. It starts with a slow tantalising piece of melodic and lyrical reflection, both McCaughey and McDonnell playing with and securing thoughts and emotions well before the keys tease with their own seductive caress. It is mere moments before the song captures the fullest rapture with persuasion firmly sealed with the cutting scuzz surfaced guitar strikes and adventure alongside the outstanding vocals. It is a magnetic stroll through a provocative and stylish soundscape, a masterful piece of invention igniting full ardour.

Closing track, The Great Henry Watt is a flume of electro flames seeded with an eighties breath through a passion soaked heart. Impossibly easy to ride its waves of melodic and vocal expression, the song reminds very strongly of Poets Of The Fall, never a bad thing and especially incendiary when added to the open imaginative talents of Able Archer.

The Bullets EP is an exceptional introduction to a band we are sure to hear a lot more of. Able Archer cut a scintillating figure with their stirring sound and has all the potential to stand prominently within European alternative/melodic rock. - Grand Master Review

"Tune of the day"

For this sunny Saturday, here is Dublin based Able Archer with the video to their new single Ghostmaker. High energy rock with well placed softer indie/pop moments. Great vocals, energetic and powerful without being unnecessarily heavy. Taken from the follow up to their 2013 E.P. Bullets, the song is released on iTunes March 24th. - 2 U I Bestow

"Able Archer – Ghostmaker"

Dublin-based rock act Able Archer have unveiled the music video for their latest single ‘Ghostmaker’.

Infused with the group’s dynamic rock-influenced sound and pulsing with a driving bed of distortion, Able Archer’s new single thrashes its way through its succinct running time showcasing the group’s pin-point song writing.

Infused with the tonal core of ‘Ghostmaker’ the accompanying video moves and cuts with each percussive jolt of sound that underlines Able Archer’s sound. Shot in black and white, with the camera creating a claustrophobic atmosphere through the use of shifting close-ups that enclose around the group as they energetically perform their latest single, the visual blend with the almost nihilistic themes of the Dublin bands music.

Due for release on March 24th, ‘Ghostmaker’ from Able Archer provides an engaging interpretation of the rock genre with more than enough edge to keep it relevant.

Watch the new music video for ‘Ghostmaker’ by Able Archer by clicking above. - The Last Mixed Tape


Superhuman Single - October 12'
Bullets EP - April 13'
Patches Single - July 13'
Ghostmaker - March 14'

The Trouble with Stranger EP - November 14'

The Decent Single - November 14'

The Warden Single - March 15'



Able Archer are a 5 piece rock band from Dublin. Decribed as Soundgarden meets Depeche Mode... mixing keys with crunchy guitars and soaring vocals. In 2013 the band released their debut EP to critical acclaim. 2014 saw the band push on again with the release of their second EP - "The Trouble with Strangers".

Band Members