The Arrest | 01 (s/r)

cd_arrest.gifAt some point, it had to happen. Shoegaze had to grow up, grow a set, adapt.







At some point, it had to happen. Shoegaze had to grow up, grow a set, adapt. The Arrest is what became of ’90s shoegaze in the ’00s. It’s still got some of the drones, but the walls of sound are toned down, the piano and danceability turned up. Rather than monotonous vocals, these are often soaring, rock ‘n’ roll; for their part, the guitars are more pointed, often the focus of a song rather than its backdrop.

"One x One" is a good example of electronic rock, as guitars and keys jostle for prominence. It’s a long track, with a little bit of everything (see above). It’s also a good introduction to the variety this band is capable of. Track two, "The Surgeon’s Wife," is straight-ahead pop, with vocals that (oddly) recall Echo & the Bunnymen. Breaking my usual tradition, I’m drawn to "The Tightrope," a slower (!) number yet with aching, sometimes fragile vocals. Don’t get me wrong; the vocals on this album are very strong indeed, full-throated and rich; it’s just that here they expose some vulnerability.

"Sleepy John" could be a single — and I mean that in the best way. It’s solid, toe-tapping, an example of elevated restraint. Next up, a pair of songs titled "Transmission 01" and "Transmission 02." How to say this nicely? I don’t like them. "01" sounds like ’70s rock and "02" is maudlin and meandering. Following yet another near-miss in "T+Reason," The Arrest take a stab at redemption with "Valentine’s Day." Remember what I said about shoegazing growing up? Here is regresses, and takes with it the vocals that I loved so much. "001011" is another s-l-o-w, dragging number; even the return of the vocals can’t save it.

So what do you have? Four solid songs, and six that, well, kind of bored me (some more than "kind of"). The Arrest, I think you’re on the right track…you just haven’t learned to drive the train yet. C | Laura Hamlett

RIYL: I don’t even know where to begin with this…and I don’t think they do, either

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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