Come on feel the noise of The Armed on ‘All Futures.’
The Armed make a beautifully obtuse and cacophonous racket. Short of just lazily and lamely calling it “music,” I always refer to their releases as a kind of “experimental-hardcore and noise-pop,” as it’s the closest articulation of what they create. Especially when showing brand new initiates this confounding band’s work and when talking about their exceptional 2018 LP, ‘Only Love.’
Beyond all that genre lines bullshit, The Armed are probably the only true Maximalist hardcore band out there right now: forgetting the past, creating their own future, all the while making something new as they burn any idea of expectation and convention to the ground by pushing everything to the ultimate extreme without any compromise. It’s heavy, hooky deconstructionism that’s about love, not hate. It’s all in the name of this newest song: not the future of just one person or any one genre, but all of them, all at once.
Arriving April 16th via Sargent House, their new 12-track album ‘Ultrapop,’ has gained much media attention for not what it is, but rather who is on the album. Featuring esteemed names such as Queens Of The Stone Age‘s Troy Van Leeuwen (who apparently guests on this new single) Converge’s Kurt Ballou (who also mixed the album), Rolo Tomassi’s Eva Spence and Chelsea Wolfe’s main collaborator, Ben Chisholm. Which is all well and good; Eva’s feature has me incredibly interested and invested already.
Then again, this is a band whom we never know for sure who is actually in the fucking band at any given time. Excluding mastermind Tony Wolski – who is now fronting Genghis Tron – and key member/producer Dan Greene, as well as the other multiple Dan’s in their line-up (that number varies), it’s anyone’s guess who among the eight members seen in the above promo or below in the live clip actually had a hand in ‘All Futures‘, let alone the new LP. The rabbit hole goes deep.
But enough speculation on mysteries that will likely never be solved. Let’s talk about the new single, ‘All Futures.’ In the time since ‘Only Love‘ and their hilarious 2019 single, ‘FT. Frank Turner‘ – which didn’t legibly feature the English folk singer, and the cover art of which was just a photo of Frank Carter – and not counting their ‘Night City Aliens‘ song in Cyberfucked 2077, we get a satisfying follow-up. It’s a noisy, abrasive hardcore-punk experience due to the intense swole drumming, over-distorted screeching guitars, and harsh undecipherable screams. Yet it’s also a piece that’s warm and fuzzy, and even a little catchy, thanks to the electronic glitches, bleeping synthesisers, fuzz bass tones, and layered melodic vocals that drive a huge hook forward. ‘All Futures‘ is all I ever wanted from them.
The Armed have since described this forthcoming album by labelling it as “the harshest, most beautiful, most hideous thing we could make,” and that alone makes me incredibly excited. For the only boundaries of your art are the ones you impose upon it. And sure, I’ve heard harsher shit, from them no less, but The Armed’s music just hits… differently.
Some would call them enigmas, and they most likely are, but I believe it’s far simpler than what we all theorize. That it’s just about making music they love, and not in a generic, contrived way, but to be truly passionate for their art. To make music that can be for anyone from anywhere. And I dunno, that’s pretty fucking cool to me.