The Armed dips shoegaze into their layers of noise on ‘Average Death’

Is it too early to call the AOTY for 2021 yet? 

Swole muscles, warm pastel colours, flamethrowers, flesh bared proudly, beautiful flower outfits, cake eating – there are heaps of strong visuals going on with the video for ‘Average Death,’ the latest enigmatic release by the only hardcore noise-pop collective that matters, The Armed. If you read my piece on The Armed when they released the brilliant ‘All Futures‘ back in Febraury, then you’ll know they’re a Maximalist, deconstructive hardcore act who do things their own way, no matter how jarring or unexpected it is. Big shock: this release is yet another example of the group’s visual and sonic vision, in all of its abrasive, experimental glory.

Like most people, I enjoy social media and pop-culture. I ain’t gonna pretend to be some hoity-toity snob about either one – I like that shit. As they have their positives, but obviously, also their negatives too. Specifically, ‘Average Death‘ is about the repeating cycles of indulgence and identity that’s born out of too much consuming and not enough creating; about “acting” rather than being real. At its core, this video and song combo is telling you to be you. To embrace yourself. To flaunt what ya got. To not held captive by other things or other people, to make (and steal) your own “scenes.”

Average Death‘ is ballistically noisy, like it’s from another universe. It sounds like someone spilt some shoegaze and a hint of post-rock into the smooth buried singing, glitchy percussion, and chaotic hardcore passages of The Armed’s usual practice. And whoever did that, I’d like to thank them profusely. Because ‘Average Death‘ has consumed my full attention since dropping earlier this week. I’ve had this thing on repeat so much that I’m sure that I’ve fucked up my Spotify end-of-year algorithm chart. It’s quickly risen to one of my favourite songs of 2021 and a new top tier favourite by this oddball band, feeling like it’ll be the “Luxury Themes” of upcoming album, ‘Ultrapop‘ (out April 16th). Incredible stuff.

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