(photo by Jess Baird)
Red Arms are a four-piece band out of London, Ontario Canada. The band has been making noise pop / post-punk music since 2013 and on September 13th they released their first full-length album titled Critical State via Yeah Right! Records. The album is made up of ten tracks which embed “lyrical storytelling that touches on politics and personal reflections with thick distortion and catchy riffs.”
We caught up with the band and asked them to pick three albums that have influenced their music. Along with their picks the band added, “We all have pretty diverse tastes in music but the biggest inspiration for Red Arms is the amazing period spanning from the late 70s to the late 90s. When Eric and Rob started writing together in the early days of Red Arms, they were really interested in making songs that were super catchy and melodic but also smothered in massive guitars and noise. That dichotomy of aggressive and pretty is pretty much what defined underground music during that period. Before Eric and Rob started to write for the project, they spent weeks nerding out over dozens of records. Here are three that really stand out as great influences on the band’s overall sound.”
Check out the band’s new release here.
Chavez – Ride the Fader
This masterpiece came out in 1996 on the great Matador Records. Ride The Fader is filled end-to-end with catchy as hell hooks, incredible vocal melodies, and unbelievably thick detuned guitars. The guitar work on the record is absolutely brilliant. The two guitars didn’t simply just mirror what each other played but focused on these really cool counter melodies. One guitar would be playing some slightly dissonant arpeggiated chords while the other played bottom-heavy riffs. The combination is magical. However, none of this would matter if the rhythm section wasn’t equally as brilliant. The drum work on this record is unbelievable. Really clever fills without over playing. Counter intuitive patterns would keep everything super interesting. This record must not be forgotten to time.
Swervedriver – Raise
The outstanding Raise was released in 1991. This album somehow bridged the sluggy American style indie rock of Dinosaur Jr. with British shoegaze in a seamless and fresh way. The guitars on this record are absolutely massive and noisey, but thoughtful and melodic. The songs are so devastatingly melancholic and somehow uplifting at the same time. It’s an album you can never get sick of. Incidentally, Red Arms had the distinct honour to open for them when they passed through our hometown in 2015. It was unreal!
Dinosaur JR. – You’re Living All Over Me
This is one of the albums that solidified Rob’s and Eric’s friendship when they first met so many years ago. Both of them discovered this record when they were in high school. The chaos of guitars was so unhinged that it seemed like the whole thing would implode on itself. It was so weird to hear full-on metal-like shredding on an indie rock record. It shouldn’t work but it worked so fucking well. Overly flashing guitar solos is a sure-fire way of ruining an otherwise perfectly crafted song but J. Mascis is an absolute genius when it comes to curating the perfect notes for a solo. No one is going to argue that he’s the strongest singer out there but his voice is just perfect for these songs. It almost sounds like he’s pleading. It’s just simply great!