Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Armed - 2011 Young & Beautiful

Band : The Armed
Album : Young & Beautiful
Release Year : 2011
Genre : Mathcore | Chaotic | Experimental

Tracklist :
1. Young & Beautiful
2. Mujahoudini
3. Pushing Daises
4. Maize Maze
5. You Have Died

The EP’s title track opens the EP in an eruption of snarling, Dillinger Escape Plan-shaded heat. It’s both a description and a motif that fits well with The Armed for much of Young & Beautiful, sitting as it does just shy of pure discordance  thanks to their sly use of sneaky punky melodies to underpin the whole affair. It’s what makes ‘Pushing Daisies’, the EP’s mid-point, one of the more (and there are many) interesting points on the record. I’d call it the closest to a “traditional-sounding” song that The Armed have ever crafted in terms of structure, but I’m worried that people might mistake that for a backhanded compliment. Closest in tone and timbre to Gallows at their most furious, Chris Elkjar and Aaron Jones’ guitar work provides the track with both a driving pace and some powerfully wild background soloing. Opening with the lyrics “I keep a human skull on my desk / Just to let you know that I don’t fuck around” and only growing in menace until it reaches the threatening chorus refrain of “Someone’s gonna die tonight”, it is barking and spiteful and magnificent from start to finish.

Given that Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal (yes, he of Guns N’ Roses) had a hand in the engineering of the EP, and that Converge’s Kurt Ballou returns once again as mixer, Young & Beautiful sounds as slick and as professional as any million-dollar project, and does so without smoothing off the bitter edges that made The Armed’s earlier releases such a treat. And like Common Enemies before it, Young & Beautiful knows exactly when to make its excuses and leave. The EP batters itself to a close with the aptly-titled ‘You Have Died’, with a frustrated an sneering gang-vocal chant of “USA! USA!”, repeating itself over and over again until the song splutters to an abrupt finish. There’s no need for this song to go on one second longer. There’s no need for any more songs right now. The Armed’s work here is done. -thrashhits

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