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The Armed|ULTRAPOP

ULTRAPOP

The Armed

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Since emerging in 2009, the Armed have released three innovative and often impenetrable albums that show little interest in adhering to the traditional punk rock idiom. The band's recalcitrant nature -- outlandish stunts, performance art pieces, and general media misdirection -- has kept them in the headlines, but they have yet to cast a line into the mainstream. True to form, Ultrapop sees the anonymous and anachronistic Detroit-based collective deliver a dizzying 12-song set that pairs glitchy and discordant soundscapes and adenoid-tearing vocals with melodies that run the gamut from apocalyptic to downright majestic. Commencing with the lush title cut, which falls somewhere between the nightmarish AI-metal of Poppy, the narcotic dream pop of Mercury Rev, and the genre-less outflow of the group's closest stylistic contemporary, Fucked Up, Ultrapop gets down to business with haste. The band cycles through genres like they're being chased by death itself, leaving in their wake a street strewn with the remnants of noise-rock, hardcore, garage punk, electronicore, pop, and post-punk. The kinetic "All Futures" and "Masunaga Vapors" mirror the unpredictable urban punk emissions of Scotland's Young Fathers, while the knotty "Big Shell" and "Real Folk Blues" evoke the socio-political art-punk of Crass. That being said, those comparisons are merely touchstones, as the Armed's particular brand of maximalist experimental pop feels vital and rooted in the current zeitgeist. Aptly named, Ultrapop administers a constant barrage of sonic information that shows no delineation between discomfort, reassurance, pain, or pleasure.

© James Christopher Monger /TiVo

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ULTRAPOP

The Armed

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1
ULTRAPOP
00:02:43

Ben Chisholm, Composer, Writer - The Armed, MainArtist - Dan Greene, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene LLC, Composer, Writer - Dan Greane, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene Inc, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Sargent House ℗ 2021 Sargent House

2
ALL FUTURES Explicit
00:03:04

Ben Chisholm, Composer, Writer - The Armed, MainArtist - Dan Greene, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene LLC, Composer, Writer - Dan Greane, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene Inc, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Sargent House ℗ 2021 Sargent House

3
MASUNAGA VAPORS
00:02:30

Ben Chisholm, Composer, Writer - The Armed, MainArtist - Dan Greene, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene LLC, Composer, Writer - Dan Greane, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene Inc, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Sargent House ℗ 2021 Sargent House

4
A LIFE SO WONDERFUL
00:03:07

Benjamin Koller, Composer, Writer - Ben Chisholm, Composer, Writer - The Armed, MainArtist - Dan Greene, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene LLC, Composer, Writer - Dan Greane, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene Inc, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Sargent House ℗ 2021 Sargent House

5
AN ITERATION
00:02:53

Ben Chisholm, Composer, Writer - The Armed, MainArtist - Dan Greene, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene LLC, Composer, Writer - Dan Greane, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene Inc, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Sargent House ℗ 2021 Sargent House

6
BIG SHELL
00:03:17

Ben Chisholm, Composer, Writer - The Armed, MainArtist - Dan Greene, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene LLC, Composer, Writer - Dan Greane, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene Inc, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Sargent House ℗ 2021 Sargent House

7
AVERAGE DEATH
00:04:31

Ben Chisholm, Composer, Writer - The Armed, MainArtist - Dan Greene, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene LLC, Composer, Writer - Dan Greane, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene Inc, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Sargent House ℗ 2021 Sargent House

8
FAITH IN MEDICATION
00:03:46

Ben Chisholm, Composer, Writer - The Armed, MainArtist - Dan Greene, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene LLC, Composer, Writer - Dan Greane, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene Inc, Composer, Writer - Andy Pitcher, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Sargent House ℗ 2021 Sargent House

9
WHERE MAN KNOWS WANT
00:02:56

Ben Chisholm, Composer, Writer - The Armed, MainArtist - Dan Greene, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene LLC, Composer, Writer - Dan Greane, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene Inc, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Sargent House ℗ 2021 Sargent House

10
REAL FOLK BLUES
00:03:38

Ben Chisholm, Composer, Writer - The Armed, MainArtist - Dan Greene, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene LLC, Composer, Writer - Dan Greane, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene Inc, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Sargent House ℗ 2021 Sargent House

11
BAD SELECTION
00:03:44

Ben Chisholm, Composer, Writer - The Armed, MainArtist - Dan Greene, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene LLC, Composer, Writer - Dan Greane, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene Inc, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Sargent House ℗ 2021 Sargent House

12
THE MUSIC BECOMES A SKULL
00:02:38

Mark Lanegan, FeaturedArtist - Benjamin Koller, Composer, Writer - Ben Chisholm, Composer, Writer - The Armed, MainArtist - Dan Greene, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene LLC, Composer, Writer - Dan Greane, Composer, Writer - Dan Greene Inc, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Sargent House ℗ 2021 Sargent House

Album review

Since emerging in 2009, the Armed have released three innovative and often impenetrable albums that show little interest in adhering to the traditional punk rock idiom. The band's recalcitrant nature -- outlandish stunts, performance art pieces, and general media misdirection -- has kept them in the headlines, but they have yet to cast a line into the mainstream. True to form, Ultrapop sees the anonymous and anachronistic Detroit-based collective deliver a dizzying 12-song set that pairs glitchy and discordant soundscapes and adenoid-tearing vocals with melodies that run the gamut from apocalyptic to downright majestic. Commencing with the lush title cut, which falls somewhere between the nightmarish AI-metal of Poppy, the narcotic dream pop of Mercury Rev, and the genre-less outflow of the group's closest stylistic contemporary, Fucked Up, Ultrapop gets down to business with haste. The band cycles through genres like they're being chased by death itself, leaving in their wake a street strewn with the remnants of noise-rock, hardcore, garage punk, electronicore, pop, and post-punk. The kinetic "All Futures" and "Masunaga Vapors" mirror the unpredictable urban punk emissions of Scotland's Young Fathers, while the knotty "Big Shell" and "Real Folk Blues" evoke the socio-political art-punk of Crass. That being said, those comparisons are merely touchstones, as the Armed's particular brand of maximalist experimental pop feels vital and rooted in the current zeitgeist. Aptly named, Ultrapop administers a constant barrage of sonic information that shows no delineation between discomfort, reassurance, pain, or pleasure.

© James Christopher Monger /TiVo

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