One of the biggest challenges for musicians today is drawing on influences from previous decades without becoming derivative. This is why it’s so impressive to hear former members of bands like Deadguy, Every Time I Die, Nora, and Ensign put forth a debut with such depth and abrasive quality that never plagiarises. There are firm nods to structures and frames of previous projects, but as a collective, their alchemical synthesis creates a bewildering concoction of cacophony. The resulting record instead sounds more like a melting pot of Botch, Unsane, Breather Resist, and Voivod. If these names excite you, good: this album will not disappoint.
Right from the start of Second Arrows (Hellminded Records), “Galactic” tears at the itch that most post-hardcore has been missing off for years now. The combination of atmospheric tremolo, enraged vocals, and “We Are The Romans”-era riffs leaves the listener pining for more. Myself included. The rest of the album goes from strength to strength, from the savage thrashing on display in “Spindles,” to dolorous outro “Jitters,” this is a debut that raises the bar for bands this year.
The timing, on the other hand, couldn’t be more teasing. This is an album that demands live audiences to bear witness and sacrifice bodies to mosh pits. Yet, of course, we are where are, and instead, we can only make do with whorls on vinyl and lines in code. But with something this good, it’s worth every minute of play time. The best one can do is hope that this plague meets its end quickly enough that people will be able to upturn venues wherever Second Arrows intend to play.
Second Arrows Track Listing:
3. Our Grendel
6. Floyd Rush
7. One Tone Temple Bell
Run Time: 32:23
Release Date: June 26, 2020
Record Label: Hellminded Records