Hailing from Brooklyn, New York Tidal Arms are a 3 piece that successfully dismantle genre expectations while retaining focus and forging an identity. Their 2011 début album The Sun Exploding explored progressive post-rock a la Russian Circles and And So I Watch You From Afar with aplomb but remained entrenched within the expected confines of the genre.
As well as touring with Glassjaw, Tidal Arms have apparently spent the intervening years listening to a lot of early Baroness and Kylesa as on second self-titled album Tidal Arms they have crafted their own sound by incorporating the post-hardcore, sludge and doom elements of the afore mentioned bands without sounding derivative.
This mission statement is initiated by the blast of feedback and thunderous intro riff of opening track 'Gooski’s Ladder' before the chorus deviates into a post-hardcore workout replete with escalating melodic guitar lines and finishes in a sludge metal crescendo that coupled with a huge production sounds immense.
They could have very easily copied and pasted the exact formula of the opening track for the entire album and it would certainly still be a total winner, but instead they embark on an enthralling sonic journey of shifting tempos and dynamics in which the enterprising inventiveness on display plasters and holds a huge grin on the face!
So you have the energy and power of the opening track followed with the downbeat reflectiveness of 'Mirror Box' and the post-metal of 'Dunston Mass' which in turn is countermanded by 'Jungle of Dust' which sparks into jaunty math rock.
My personal favourite section is the central triumvirate of 'Mad Glacier', 'On The Train' and 'Jelloshotgum' in which the sound evolves into crushing instrumental doom metal followed by a post-hardcore riff out and then returning to the post rock style of the début album all the while remaining completely coherent.