London group Archive's eighth attempt fails to push the envelope
Many of the mid-’90s acts who were tagged as ‘trip-hop’ have enjoyed careers far exceeding that term’s brief window of coolness (Portishead and Tricky, for example). London group Archive never made that elusive commercial breakthrough but, with ‘Axiom’, they’ve reached their eighth album. It doesn’t sound like trip-hop, although Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths retain a taste for electronic beats, dramatic vocals and filmic drama. They also like church bells, lengthy samples of which bookend the seven tracks here. Fans of latter-day Radiohead may dig the paranoid shuffle of ‘Transmission Data Terminate’, and ‘Shiver’ carries its prog balladry with style. But, overall, ‘Axiom’ is a trip, rather than a hop, forward.