The Arrows
Stand Back

1. Meet Me In The Middle
2. Say It Isn’t True
3. Fallen Angel
4. Never Be Another One
5. Girl In 313
6. Stand Back
7. Enough Is Never Enough
8. I Owe You
9. Easy Street

Dean McTaggart - Vocals
Gary Craig - Drums
Peter Bleakney - Bass
Doug MacAskill - Guitars
David Tyson - Keyboards

The Arrows (4 song EP)(1982)
Stand Back (1984)
The Lines are Open (1985)

David Tyson - producer, arrangement
The Arrows - arrangement
Scott Litt - mixing engineer
David Moore - executive producer
Howie Weinberg - mastering at Masterdisc, New York
Dean Motter - art direction and graphics
Patrick Harbron - photography

Rob Gusevs - keyboards
Earl Seymour - tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Howard Aye - bass
Michael Sloski - drums
Matt Zimbel - percussion
Eddie Schwartz - background vocals
Al Van Wart - background vocals

Released 29/7-2011
Reviewed 28/8-2011


Canadian band The Arrows do not really sport the longest of careers spanning about half a decade from 1981 until 1986 when they disbanded for good (at least as far as anyone knows). During that time they released one EP and two full length album of which their debut full length album Stand Back will once again see the light of day having been out of print for a very long time. It is an album with a quite striking cover of a female arrow shooter, so just by guesstimating from the cover it would seem like something to have a look at I would think as these albums tend to feature interesting music rather often.

So how about these Arrows then? Their music is what you might expect from looking at the cover to be honest, übermelodic pop-rock music with crystal clear production and catchy choruses, surprised? I wasn’t. They make much use of keyboards and also saxophone in their songs and this album featured three hit singles which kind of indicates what type of music to expect. Being an album that initially was released in the vinyl format it also assures that the band had been forced to do some selecting of songs to fit it on such discs and its nine tracks requires just over forty minutes to be played through. Another thing striking me when listening to this album is that it doesn’t feel dated despite having well over 20 years of life behind it now, being released in 1984.

I have only found one modern review to this album and it stated that the band were going down “cheesy street” and they were like Toto without the talent. it also said that if you like We Built This City by Starship you will like this album. Alright it is a poppy rock album that can be called cheesy if you prefer to say so but that applies to much of the AOR-genre to be honest and saying that The Arrows and not Toto are cheesy is frankly a stupid thing to say as they are both cheesy or neither one of them are. Anyway, I like Starship’s song he mentioned and I actually have and like that very vinyl album and I play it from time to time, it is great. I also think that in general The Arrows has much going for them.

I think though that the penultimate track called I Owe You is horrible and maybe it could be called very cheesy I don’t know, I know that it is rubbish and it should never had made the cut. But the opening track Meet Me in the Middle is brilliant with it’s sax lead and the clever catchy chorus and energy, and the other tracks are really good as well which makes this album very good. Sure it is poppy and it is cheesy and it may not be the coolest thing to like this kind of music but it is great nonetheless.

If they had only decided to throw away I Owe You I would have needed to think about looking for one more blackened H but as it looked now I did not have to go through that effort. I think the melodies and the catchy songs is enough to keep anyone listening and it is also not a difficult album to get into thanks to the easily accessible songs all the way through and it is great music to have whatever you do, reading music, working music or driving music it works on so many levels this album. Sure you can say they walk down “cheesy street” which probably refers to the ending track which is called Easy Streed and is a quite typical but really good ballad of the genre.

I think their arrows hit the target for most of the time and I would say that this album is an album you ought to head for the nearest record seller to pick up your copy. And should you not like the album why not take out the cover and put it on a dartboard allowing you to put some arrows into it, that would make it a well worth investment no matter who you are.



Label: Yesterrock/GerMusica
Three similar bands: Deja Vu/The Stampeders/Moxy
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
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