New Release From Arms & Hearts
Matt Awbery || September 6th
Arms & Hearts is the title of a folk/punk artist based in Manchester, Steve Millar. Taking blatant influence from the likes of Chuck Ragan & Brian Fallon, ‘The Jaded Captain’ is the follow up to the e.p ‘Set in Stone’ which achieves a well-crafted presentation of song writing, skill and performance, however in the wake of this e.p with this new release it seems the ideas presented on Set in Stone have been refined in every aspect.
The snappy two track release begins with the song ‘Empty Frequency’ which reflects subjects which are a concrete theme within the framework of Arms & Hearts, subjects that touch upon the sense of not belonging and carrying on with the sense of a lack of motivation, accompanied by a pointing the finger attitude, with lyrics such as ‘It’s nothing like you promised, it’s nothing like you said’ which set an almost aggressive tone which is fitting for the gritty vocals delivered. Melodic bright guitar sounds accompany the driving acoustic rhythm which dominates the majority of the track. This is probably the strongest recorded performance of Arms & Hearts entire discography to date.
Finalising this, is the track ‘Troubled Minds, Bloodshot Eyes’ which is very similar to the track on his prior release Set in Stone, ‘Take No Prisoners’ this is not to say it mirrors the track too blatantly, repetition forms an artist’s whole sound and aesthetic, which I think is so important. This track is a slower track which connects with the sense of defeat displayed on the first track on this record, with lyrics such ‘I gave it my all, my broken battered dreams’. Opening with a great harmonica line which captivates the interest of the listener which is so easy to lose in a slow tempo track. This consistently builds to an aggressive end, accompanied with minimalistic drum sounds and yelling vocals that make the already un tamed vocals on the track before seem reserved, this creates a solid, powerful ending which completely confirms the point I have tried to convey on this review which I hope I have made clear, the more you do something the better you get, persistence gives birth to improvement.