The EP from Brooklyn's own ARMS is another FTW from the "nu-gaze" wave. It is an album as sophisticated as Sufjan Stevenes and as spirited as Sonic Youth. Lead vocalist and guitarist, Todd Goldstein began writing music under the name ARMS in 2004. After releasing a solo album "Kids Aflame" in 2008, Todd recruited Tlacael Esparza to play drums and Matty Fasano to play bass and sing along under the same name. The trio's new EP is made up of five refreshing, romantic tracks filled with droning rifts, introspective lyrics and echoy vocals that will be a part of their upcoming full-length album tentatively called "Summer Skills." The lovely lo-fi songs are non-confrontational but holistically downbeat. The kind of complex and inspiring tunes you'd want to play in your room on a rainy day when you're tired of listening to the Donnie Darko soundtrack. Download their EP for free, here (http://www.armsarms.com/songs/arms_ep.zip) and turn the volume up on Heat & Hot Water. - CBM
"Uptempo" and "Pop" are by themselves two concepts that - in the business of being an indie band - can take you quite far; but if on top of that you add to the equation also comparisons to The Smiths, then the hype can get out of control. Brooklyn's Drowners have more than one similarity with Morrisey's act, and although they will surely feel belittled by such comparison, they should not, because no artists really managed to be The Smiths' worthy musical heir yet (like, for example, XTC were for The Beatles, Robin Hitchcock for Syd Barrett, and The Strokes for Lou Reed - uhm, maybe...).
The band's 3 songs debut EP features the remarkable single "Between Us Girls" (streaming below) which immediately throws us back to the days of "Meat is Murder," with the electric guitar alternating between jangly parts and arpeggios, and Welsh frontman Matt Hitt singing semi-melancholically about some girls' hair length - rather than about how big they are... The edge is slightly punkier, while the songwriting reveals an almost clinical concision (the song clocks in just under 2 minutes, with the first chorus coming in after 26" - A&R allergic to intros will dig that).
The second song, "You've Got it All Wrong," beats a similar musical path, tackling the infinite well of inspiration that (for Brits) is life at the pub, with the difference of a slower bridge, which acts as a breather for the final chorus. Final track "A Shell Across the Tongue" is the punkier of the bunch, but also the one with the least memorable melody.
This is obviously a band with enormous songwriting potential. If they'll manage to write songs as good as these and integrate their influences in a more mature and personal sound, the world can be theirs. - PDG