Monday, April 4, 2011

The Armed - 2010 Common Enemies

Band : The Armed
Album : Common Enemies
Release Year : 2010
Genre : Mathcore | Chaotic | Experimental

Tracklist :
 01 - Death Panel
02 - Liar
03 - Second Hand
04 - Woodenlung
There are absolutely, positively, zero reasons why you should not own a copy of The Armed‘s Common Enemies EP. As with the band’s These Are Lights album from 2009, The Armed are giving away their music for free. Again. Seriously, what does a band do to make you listen to them? They’ve recorded some superb music.

Common Enemies comes out swinging – the only warning you get before it kicks in is the brief intake of breath from vocalist Adam Senko before his first, furious roar erupts from his mouth. While These Are Lights showcased some of the math-y aspects of The Armed, from the off Common Enemies is about being a hardcore punk rock band – in the bleakest, most absolute interpretation of punk rock imaginable – means in 2010. What it means is: they’re aiming to destroy you, and destroy you good at that.

This uncompromising break-neck take on hardcore continues with ‘Liar’, which muscles in with the force and the precision of the Dillinger Escape Plan trying their hand at powerviolence. These DEP comparisons that’ve been thrown The Armed’s way since their inception aren’t because they’re mindlessly aping them though – it’s because they share the New Jersey mob’s ability to effortlessly shift the direction of their sound in a split-second, whilst remaining exciting and without sounding forced. It’s of little surprise that they’ve gone and snagged Chris Pennie, founder member and ex-drummer of DEP, for a guest appearance on ‘Second Hand’. What will surprise you though, is the measure of his guest spot – as this is arguably the least DEP-ish track The Armed have ever done. Instead of a demonstration in fucke-up polyrhythms, instead we get a dreamy, instrumental interlude that almost sounds like indie-pop.

In fact, the only thing keeping this from full marks is its length – a mere four tracks – and even just typing that I feel fucking cheap for docking it a half-point for such a spurious reason. The Armed have made yet another white-hot, furious bundle of insistent, essential fury that feels like it’s on the verge of bursting, such is its intrinsic need to be heard. The Armed have gone above and beyond what 99% of bands would do to make it as easy as possible for you to hear this music – for that alone you owe this EP a listen. If for some reason the fact that it’s better than almost anything else you have or will hear for the rest of year isn’t reason enough already.

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