Tuesday, November 10, 2009
A few years ago, I was sent a record from an young two-piece from Guelph called Arrows. I liked Knives Are Falling From the Sky (review), but thought that they were struggling to find their sound as they sampled from the sounds we all the love (Pixies, Nirvana and Hey Mercedes were three that I heard).
Then they kind of disappeared. It's not unusual for a DIY act to lose steam so when I hadn't heard anything from them in a couple of years I assumed they packed it in. So when an LP from Cursed Arrows showed up in my inbox, it took a few google searches to figure out that Cursed Arrows were in fact Arrows, they just added another word to the mix. It only took a few seconds of their new LP - Telepathic High Five - to figure out that Ryan and Jackie definitely found "their" new sound.
The album opener, Run Forever, comes out swinging like an underdog heavyweight fighter, knowing there is only one chance to grab the spotlight and like Little Mac they shock us all and connect square on the jaw. It's not often I'm left staggered by a band after one song - especially on a sophomore effort - but Ryan and Jackie certainly crush any of your preconceived notions in that first 6-minutes and the LP never lets up.
To be honest though, every note on Telepathic High Five seems denser and crisper than their previous work. Instead of recording a record that sounds like shit on purpose, they took the time to get the sound just right. The kick drum beats through your chest, the sing/screamed vocals make you pump your fist and the sludge filled riffs they loved have been replaced with hard hitting, assaulting tracks that have enough energy to make The Junior Boys seem like an Amish act.
Lyrically the duo attacks some heavy subject matter. Whether it's the most basic of human emotions, terror at the way we treat the environment or the chilling realization that we might actually be alone in this universe, Jackie and Ryan refuse to let the lyrics on these heavy songs come across as an afterthought. Cursed Arrows successfully bridges the gap between the conscious DC punk acts that talked loud and still had something to say and a modern sound that doesn't sound like yet another band aping the past greats.
MP3:: Cursed Arrows - Run Forever