steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Arrivals

"Exsenator Orange" CD

Thick Records

Genres: punk rock, indie rock

Thick Records
PO Box 220245
Chicago, IL 60622

Jan 6 - 12 2003

This album should be huge. The Arrivals have done a kick-ass job; with every listen, Exsenator Orange just gets better and better. Boasting a wall of raw, turbulent guitars and emotional vocals in the foreground, the album is as powerful as all heck, except manages to stay enjoyably melodic at the same time. Though they are constantly in overdrive, the band still can belt out a tremendous chorus that you can't help but howl along to. It doesn't hurt to have singer Isaac Thotz on deck - his voice is perfect for the music; with just a hint of snarl in his expressive, determined vocals, he adds a nice touch of accessibility to the noise.

"Born With A Broken Heart" is a prime example of what The Arrivals can do. Smashing away at an incredible speed, with out-of-control, ultrasonic guitar walls crashing down on you, the track completely tears you apart - except its catchy melody makes it easy for you to hum along. "Hell Can Wait" is another hit. With the tense chorus of "Hell can wait/For me, Mom/I'll be okay/Just don't stop to ask/'Where did you go wrong?'", it is an excellent, well-written tune that blends punk rock with a bit of indie rock. The album's last track, "Goodnight From Paris," is another winner. At three minutes, which can be considered long in comparison to the album's other songs, it's an emotional explosion of sound that ends the album on a heavy, yet fun note.

Though the songs are short (many are under two minutes), they are so well-performed that they won't get old for months. The sheer emotion and power that this album boasts warrants it at least a listen. You have no excuse. Go out and hunt down this new gem.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 songs, distributed by the label, released 2003; band website]