A horrible hack

Extra Arms

Up From Here

Year Released: 2019
Format: LP
Label: Dadstache - Get Party Records
 
Reviewed by Samuel Rogers on Nov 11, 2019
“Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms” was a solo project from Detroit. After a few albums of catchy power pop, Allen moved into full-band, melodic punk with last year’s Headacher. This year, “Extra Arms” sound even stronger, with this 22-minute mini-album, Up From Here. In rock music, the timeworn pattern is for bands to break up, and solo artists to emerge. Nowadays, there’s a movement in the other direction. Technology makes it easier for solo artists to record a full album. Their enthusiasm and vision infects talented peers, and a band is born. Lots of great new music results, and the new tracks from Extra Arms are no exception.

The music is triumphant and tightly-controlled, with equal measures of punk, pop, and straightforward rock. While the music is melodic and uplifting, the lyrics tell a different story. On the short opener (“F.L.Y.”), Allen’s refrain “fuck last year” sets the tone of the record. These are songs of suffering and recovery, with a poignant impact. The song writing is simple, but a lot of weight is carried by understated lines. My favourite track, “Comes in Waves”, centres on those three short words. They get power from Allen’s singing and the wider emotional context of the record. Anyone who enjoys personal, guitar-driven pop-punk should give this a listen.


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