Crisis Arm are without a doubt one of the most hardworking bands I can think of. As a matter of fact, every time I talk to them they are working on a new release. They are also the embodiment of do-it-yourself ideology—they screen their own shirts, put out their own tapes, and are always willing to help you out when you would like to play a show. Thankfully, they have a new release after the gossamer-sounding Cauterwaul LP they released in September.
Their new album “Fetch” opens up with a drone that weaves into experimental guitar noise (“Drift”). The guitar seems to be played very slowly, as if the guitar pick is barely touching the strings every few seconds. The atmosphere of this song is important—it sets up much of the dreamy, celestial quality of the album and blends well into the second song “Every Time.” This is the beginning of the structural part of the album, which starts off immediately with guitar, drums and vocals, the whole shebang.
Crisis Arm do not wait for the listener to settle into this song. The opening track has already queued the listener into the experimental unity within the album. The vocals on this track are buried and mesh well with the other instruments. They do not overpower the drums or guitars but settle in with them, snuggling them as they swarm around the listeners’ ears. That said, this track is intense. The guitar in this song is aggressive but not in an overly heavy way. There is more warmth in the guitar tone than something that would be considered raw in other forms of music.
“Wake,” the sixth track, is another favorite of mine. The guitar tone on this track is different from the others. It brings to mind something that has more of a chorus-sounding quality. It is reminiscent of the guitar tone in Felt’s “Primitive Painter.” There is also a bubbling sound that is not unlike something you would hear in a horror movie when you enter the mad scientist’s chamber (minus any kitschy undertones you can think of).
The album then closes nicely with another experimental drone track (“Again”). As if it were the ribbon on the present, this final track ties the whole album together perfectly.
Crisis Arm are playing on February 28th at Bridgetown DIY. I suggest you go see them in order to experience the chaos in-person.