Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Cassette Review //
Three-Armed Men
"Friends Til Death"
(Crass Lips Records) //

Three-Armed Men have a sound which can be easily summed up by saying that it sounds like a cross between Primus and Mudhoney.   However, as we all know when it comes to music, it is rarely that simple.    This is wild like The Doors, but it also seems to be punk at the core of it all.   Sometimes the vocals come through with singing and other times they're more spoken word but there is this clanky mix of rock n roll guitars, drums, bass and even sometimes keys behind them.

Weirdo rock and sloppy punk (but in a good way) can bring out some of the trippy elements of these songs which can make me feel like I'm in space or at least amongst the aliens somehow.    At the start, it also feels like the vocals are a lot louder than everything else, but after the first couple of songs that changes and all of the elements seem to level out.    On Side B there are also more of the spoken word type of songs than the singing ones, which have this feel between that Nada Surf song where he reads about how to be popular, Suicidal Tendencies and the content itself can feel like a Mitch Hedberg joke.

From "Tomorrow I'll steal another car from someone" to "These eyes have seen the horror of the truth", the lyrics really aren't afraid to discuss any subject.   "Zoo Fashion" discusses what type of clothes are appropriate to wear to a zoo and I'm not sure there is a good answer for that but I'm always afraid I'm going to wear something bright like red and have some animal get angry and come charging at me.    It's odd, too, because "Zoo Fashion" opens up Side B and yet it's the last song on this Bandcamp link, so, I'm not going to bother trying to make sense of song order and just rock it out.

There is this slight hint of twee but not in an acoustic way, more in a rock n roll jangle way and as usual this reminds me of something that I should be able to put my finger on easily but I cannot which is how I find the best music sounds.   On some level, I want these spoken word vocals to accompanied by notes and then when we hit the chorus it kicks into faster chords and screaming- which is a pattern I've heard bands use before-  But Three-Armed Men don't really play by the rules of any other band or anyone in general, they really just set their own bar.

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