Armors | 02.04.17

Armors looked every bit the part of a confident and successful band.

The Bluebird Theatre, Denver
opening for Safetysuit

In the past six months, Orange County, Calif.’s Armors has released two absolutely killer songs. First was “Genesis,” my introduction to the band, and then the equally impressive “Overdose.” Both songs are filled with soaring, strong falsetto and an insightful indie-pop sensibility. Based on these two tracks, I knew I couldn’t miss the band’s Denver debut.

What I didn’t realize—at least not until a couple hours before the show—was that these songs weren’t the first the band had released a five-song EP, Collisions, in 2015. And while it’s not bad, it’s certainly not at the level of the band’s newest work.

At the show, the band decided to play the EP first—along with a pretty awesome cover of Gorillaz’ “Clint Eastwood”—before presenting the new material, which closed the show. This means that, while I enjoyed the show overall, I spent the set in a state of anticipation, which detracted from my enjoyment of the present.

That said, Armors looked every bit the part of a confident and successful band. Singer Olen Kittelsen was a commanding figure, decked out all in black—a Sleepless in Seattle t-shirt, tight, rolled-up black jeans, and black high-top Converse—to match his black curly locks. His panther-like movements were natural and smooth, as he prowled, swiveled, and hopped. At times, his arms moved like he was swimming slowly; other times, he reached out, mostly straight ahead, sometimes to the fans. An audience treat came when, at the end of one song, he took over the drums

The band included Sam Beresford on keys and a touring drummer, but it was bassist/backing vocalist Kody Buxton who threatened to steal the show. His assured rapping and backing vocals were essential to the show, and he especially shined on the Gorillaz cover. Tattooed and bulked out, his appearance stood in stark contrast to the remaining members’ skinny indie-rock appearances. He was also the only one to comment on the altitude, saying that tonight he was a cheap date.

Armors are currently recording their debut full-length, which will include the two newer singles. Based on those two tracks alone, we’re in for an addictive, falsetto-laden treat. | Laura Hamlett

Photo by Jim Dunn; view full photo album here

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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