Artist Feature/Review: The Armed – Untitled

The Armed - Untitled - cover

The Armed have never been a band that minces words, and they have no need for shiny adornments or sparkly gimmicks. Instead, they have one motto at their core – “Destroy Everything”. And if you’ve ever heard their music, it’s incredibly fitting. Their songs get right to their point, and that point is to cause as much havoc as humanly possible using the typical rock band setup. Being based out of Detroit, Michigan, that urge to rage and destroy rings very true: steeped in the history of a once-great city that has now become desolate and derelict, The Armed have every fucking right to be angry, and angry they’ve been. This band has been hardcore music’s best kept secret, having been flying under the radar ever since their 2009 debut album These Are Lights. Since then the band has kept up a steady trickle of short, incendiary EPs, slowly growing a small but dedicated fan base, but have yet to release another full-length until last week.

Untitled comes roaring out of the gate with all of the trademarks of The Armed’s sound. Equal parts Dillinger-inspired punk chaos, sludge metal, and DIY punk aesthetic, every song on this album is designed to punch you in the face as hard as possible. And punch it does – produced by Converge legend Kurt Ballou, the band has never sounded heavier or clearer (at least when they want to) than they do on this album. Having this legendary producer behind the boards gives the band even more brunt behind their sonic assault, but it also gives them room to spread their wings as well. “Polarizer” features a Nine Inch Nails-esque breakdown that amplifies its desperate verses, and the first half of “Dead Actress” sounds akin to a Mark Lanegan solo song (at least before the latter half rips it wide open). And while not too far of a stretch for the band, “Paradise Day” sounds almost like Blink-182, at least if Tom DeLonge had taken a lethal dose of amphetamines before hitting the studio, anyway. These moments are a breath of fresh air on an album that might otherwise threaten to stagnate – a continuous wall-to-wall 41 minute assault could fatigue even the most dedicated of hardcore fans without a diversion here and there. It’s a tricky line to walk for a band that’s mostly released EPs under the ten minute mark, but The Armed pull it off with flying colors.

But really, that’s enough talking from my end. The Armed are a band that’s consistently furious, powerful, and three-dimensional, with enough awareness to let other influences shine through once in a while. And the best part of all this? If you head on over to thearmed.bandcamp.com, you can get all of their music for free, no strings attached. So you now have no excuse.

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The Armed Post New Song + Video, “Polarizer”

The Armed are a force of destruction, taking their brand of hardcore to the absolute limits, stretching their sound until it threatens to fall apart under a wall of visceral drums and cacophonous feedback. Right down to their motto, “Destroy Everything”, this is a band with a clear intent, and no time for any bullshit. With their new single and video, “Polarizer”, nothing has really changed. The Detroit punks seethe with the same level of vitriol they’ve had since their self-released 2009 debut, These Are Lights, and with this song are finally gearing up for the release of full-length no. 2 (after a slew of short EPs in the intervening years). There are some wonderful hints of Nine Inch Nails in the song’s “breakdown”, and some vocals approaching singing scattered about, but they only add to the band’s power to make incredibly chaotic music blood-pumping and catchy at the same time. And as always, you can get all of their music for name your price purchase on their site. Get on board with The Armed and Destroy Everything when this album drops on June 23rd.

11 Albums You NEED to Hear

1. Appetite for Destruction by Guns N’ Roses

For something recorded in 1987, it’s raw, fresh, visceral, and relevant.

2. Ten by Pearl Jam

A perfect, well-rounded album. Strong riffs, thoughtful lyricism, and an anthemic sound bring it all together.

3. The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails

It’s long, but there’s a lot of great, complex songs to dig into.

4. Black Holes & Revelations by Muse

Muse has always been a stunning band, and with this release, they play to their strengths. There is an obvious addition of electronica elements added to their hard-rocking, Queen-esque sound, as well.

5. Pinkerton by Weezer

Quirky, off-beat, and catchy could sum this record up well. Full of raw confessions and blaring guitars, it’s a definite departure from their debut, and arguably their best work.

6. Binaural by Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam took a big leap here,s tepping into unchardted territory while creating meaningful songs that ignore their “grunge” label.

7. Shangri – La Dee Da by Stone Temple Pilots

Lots of psychedelic elements mixed with STP’s traditional hard-rocking/alternative sound. It’s more “them” then any prior work.

8. Title of Record by Filter

Moving from their atypical industrial sound, the fury actually lets up for a few moments with slower tracks like “Take a Picture”, all while new textures blend with and explore the band’s sound.

9. Into the Wild by Eddie Vedder

A folksy, ambitious solo album from Pearl Jam’s lead singer that merges perfectly with the movie it scores.

10. Superunknown by Soundgarden

Cornell’s voice is Earth-shattering, and as a whole the record is very cohesive and muscular.

11.  The Colour and the Shape by Foo Fighters

Take the drummer from Nirvana, give him a backing band, and add his throat-shredding vocalls and aggressive power-chords and you get an album that’s a perfect snapshot of mid-90s rock after the grunge explosion.