|"ending up" reviews|
|The War Against Silence fanzine (Feb
"Ninian Hawick's Dreamy Records label-mates Arco are much more like I'd expect a band on a label called Dreamy to sound. Chris Healey sings in a low, haunted murmur, with hints of Thom Yorke and Mark Hollis, and the trio accompanies him with slow, solemn grace, like a half-speed Del Amitri. "Cry" sounds like a Nick Drake ballad about to burst into arena-leveling rock extravagance, but it never gets much farther than filament-thin synthetic violins and a rumbling bass. A languid harmonica and some acoustic guitar give "No-One at the Wheel" a prairie-campfire twang, but Healey sings it even more like Stuart Murdoch, and the combination is oddly reminiscent of Dire Straits' slow songs. "At Least" is the closest Arco come to Radiohead, and the rest of the phrases the title comes from are a matching pair of insincere "...you're not alone"s, for both sides of a misguided relationship, leading to a grim "...I'm not in love", but the melody remembers a happier past life, and after seven or eight times through it dawns on me that the narrator believes that the couple he's addressing will not, or at least should not, last, in which case the conclusion probably means that he is in love, presumably with one of them, and to me the idea of an unrequited love song written as an apparent apology for the status quo is worthy of Justin Currie. The first half of "Doubts Remain", the fourth and last song, is just Healey, an acoustic guitar and a whispery shaker rhythm, and even when the band joins in the whole thing rises only fractionally over a folk dirge. This is what I wanted Thom Yorke's younger brother's band to sound like. And now that I know that, I should go back and listen to Unbelievable Truth, who are Thom Yorke's brother's band, to see what they sound like when I'm not irritated at what they aren't."
|Pretty Bruises fanzine (Jan
"This came straight out of nowhere to me, a reccommendation from a friend. I was skeptical at first but halfway through the first song I'd stopped what I was doing and had planted myself in front of the stereo for the remainder of the disc.
Chris Healey sings and plays guitar. His brother Nick plays drums and David Milligan handles bass and other guitars. Chris has a direct way with words that soothes and devestates, sung in the heartsick voice of an angel. In a world where people took the time to shut up and think occaisionally, "No-One At The Wheel" would be single of the year. "Cry" (the music's loud I'm with my friends / I'm satisfied) is the poetic equivalent of coming home after a night out with your drinking palls only to feel lonlier than ever. "At Least" might be the next day: (so it's evening and I'm staring at the wall / and I start to wonder if my friends are ever gonna call). "Doubts Remain" closes, containing an immpossibly delicate bridge (you can look / but never find / all the little pieces). This is textural, slow, beautiful and sad and you should buy it immediately. More please." (Nathan)
|Time Out New York (Dec 30 1999) - Best And Worst Of
Top Ten Lists - LD Beghtol
1. Arco, Ending Up EP
2. Godspeed You Black Emperor, Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada
3. Elf Power, A Dream In Sound
4. The Clientele, various 7-inch singles
5. Wheat, Hope And Adams
6. Low, Christmas EP
7. The Aluminum Group, Pedals
8. Section 25, Love & Hate (In The English Countryside)
9. Various Artists, Shanti Project 1
10. My Favorite, Love At Absolute Zero
(Good Lord... such taste. Thanks, LD!)
|The Exclusive Fanzine (Sep
"I couldn't even begin to write about this until I'd listened to it all the way through at least three times, and I can safely say that this is one of my favourite records I have been sent unsolicited yet. Belle & Sebastian are often compared, to my intense hatred, to Nick Drake but in fact this band are much more worthy of such praise than THAT whimsical band. Singer Chris Healey has a similar, fractured, almost whispered voice and the music is beautifully slow acoustic strumming that stops me dead in my tracks. The sort of song to put on when you've come home from a horrible day and you want to hide from the world, the sort of record that sounds like it is being sung directly to you from your speakers. I could live with this record." (Matt Tee)
|Ptolemaic Terrascope magazine (Sep
"...more ethereal melancholia, this time from Arco on the aptly named Dreamy Records label (address). All four songs on their 'Ending Up' EP appear to have been captured rather than written, snatched from the air during the cold, lonely early hours after a sleepless night spent in a soul-less bedsit and moulded into shape using tears and nameless bodily fluids; third cut 'At Least' is the most nightmarish and starkly beautiful of all though, the opening Cry seeming almost cheerful in comparison despite coming across as what would've been the obvious choice for the 'A' side in the simple vinyl world of yesteryear. Bleak doesn't even come in to it." (Steve Hanson)
|Topmag magazine (Feb
"During the track 'Cry', on ARCO's new EP 'Ending Up' (Dreamy)****, singer-songwriter Chris Healey says that he wishes somebody would make him, yes, cry and pull his little world apart. Like a clean-shaven Mark Eitzel, Healey is someone whose fractured lyrics and tender vocals reveal a pathos that is hard not to be moved by. Disconsolate and depressing for sure - it remains unlikely that they'll ever become Lisa I'Anson's favourite band - Arco nevertheless make really rather beautiful music that, if listened to closely enough, can strip marrow from bone."
|Melody Maker Hit List Jan 99:
"Imagine Low drifting through four lost songs from "Sister Lovers" in the middle of Ealing Broadway. Of course it's OK to cry" (Jennifer Nine).
|Dddd Fanzine January 99:
"4 tracks of excellence and sorry to harp on so backwards-looking-ish, but when the big blank wall at The End is so close that's what tends to happen, and this thing will sound sooooo fucking cry-making when you're 75 and just playing thru your old record collection which you've rediscovered up in the loft, shit, you'll play this, think of the wasted years between then and now, another opportunity for me to compare something with Peter Hammill (early stuff), and Nick Drake, and much sadness here, slow, three guys, think Michael Head and Bert Jansch in cemetery-visiting afternoons, tottering and brittle-boned, your grandchildren will be cooler than you and will be buying arco boxed sets and asking you about 1998, greatest year for music ever, here's part of the reason why and it's still silently the v v v early part of the morning and I'm being honest cos I'm feeling invulnerable."
|Chunky Records' "Cafe Bliss" magazine, Dec
"Follow up to the gorgeous "longsighted" 7". This four track ep is sad, angry and heartbreaking all at once - quiet, desolate songs of despair. Listening to "no-one at the wheel" could tear you apart with its warm acoustic charm. Often compared to Nick Drake and Red House Painters due to their slow and mellow nature but "cry" reminds me of Elliott Smith as does closer "doubts remain" (*****)"
|The Independent, 19 Dec 98:
"One of the most moving discs to come through the mailbox of late is by an outfit called arco on the tiny London-based Dreamy label. Their "ending up" EP is one of those beautifully sad records that manage to give the listener a sense of almost euphoric catharsis." (Tim Perry)
|NME singles reviews, 25 Nov 98:
"In a just and fair world, this would be Single Of The Week....this slow, miserable record - which sounds like it was bullied at school by the first Belle & Sebastian album and is probably riddled with asthma and rickets - is actually rather t'riffic." (Jim Wirth)