Saturday, November 05, 2016

Album Review: 'What a Time to Be Barely Alive' by Arms Aloft

Title:  What a Time to Be Barely Alive (Red Scare Industries, BandCamp, Amazon, iTunes)
Artist:  Arms Aloft (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, BandCamp, Ambient Inks)

Arms Aloft sophomore full-length record, What a Time to Be Barely Alive, is a poignant high energy blast of earnest frustration and anger put to music.  The band's music is most often described as Midwestern punk, which typically evokes thoughts of acts like Dillinger Four and Banner Pilot, and while there are elements of that style present, there's a gruff edge and slight twang that adds deeper layers to this record.  From the quite opening moments of "We Have Nothing To Lose But Our Chains…" to the driving close of "...And a World to Win," Arms Aloft have proven that they are far more than your atypical punk band.  The record includes powerfully uplifting anthems, angst dripping rockers, thundering melodies, big hooks and bigger choruses, and lyrics that are as clever as they are passionate.  What a Time... is my first proper introduction to Arms Aloft and needs to say, I'm hooked (especially when the record immediately reminds me of acts like Two Cow Garage and Nothington).  What a Time to Be Barely Alive is an outstanding record that is a triumph for not only the band but Red Scare Industries (which continues to be one of the best independent record labels going) as well and is a must for fans of Red City Radio, The Tim Version, Deforesters, and the aforementioned Two Cow Garage and Nothington.

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