Album review

The Arrivals : Exsenator Orange
Thick Records

The Arrivals : Exsenator OrangeEarly indications are of a faster, feistier Damned knitted together with ethno-centric pop / hardcore hybrids from USC, where sonic bursts of speed offset bass breaks and squint-induced vocal brokering . . . and if the groove to Born With A Broken Heart alone don't make you wanna pick up a guitar - forget it. Maybe you'll find the accordion's more your speed.

Analee is the Ramones without Joey's voice, -1 is Weezer with an over-caffeinated drummer . . . I don't think there's a single song that tops the two minute mark on this record - a true test of punk rock sincerity if ever there was any. The Arrivals embrace bands like the Ramones and Cheap Trick and many of the late great punk rock casualties of a leather-led generation - Dead Boys, Dolls . . . not so much an illegal Edelbrock outburst, but a punctured muffler of a sound without the slightest regard for emission laws.
    Just Another Union Song is - you guessed it - a song about 'union' both in the traditional 'teamsters' sense and in their chosen path, This Is My Shovel, This Is My Grave is where second thoughts and second guessing give way to forward looking certainty, and if you can make sense of the title from the lyrics of the intensified bloodletting of Dirty Inches, you're already ahead.
    Goodnight From Paris is another return to Machine Gun Etiquette-era Damned - a sound that's not been altogether coherent since the opening Dar La Luz - and goes far to examine not only the sonic dexterity of The Arrivals, but the quick change effects of who, what, and how they employ their uniqueness of identity.

All the parts are in place on this sophomore effort; a cool but crude brand of hard rock hyperextension by a Chicago foursome born of honest lyric and a workmanlike approach!

:: Vinnie Apicella

Go to top of page
Latest articles

Alone in the dark: Buffy The Vampire Slayer bows out in style with the Season Seven DVD Collection.

Johnny Knoxville plays him in the movie Grand Theft Parsons, but counterculture speaks to the man himself: Phil Kaufman interviewed.