Monday, February 27, 2017

Song(s) of the Day # 1,135 Arbor Labor Union

I like this record. I Hear You by Arbor Labor Union. It came out last year on Sub Pop Records.  They're a Georgian band (previously called Pinecones, though they're better off being where they are now), who start off the album as if they were R.E.M. playing Finest Worksong or Husker Du or Sugar kicking off one of their records as a clarion call to the faithful.

Fairly soon they kick into a groove. Twin guitars clicking into a clanging, ringing riff aimed toward heaven and then finding a way to get back to there and continue to closure with an internal ticking logic applying throughout. With a singer Bo Orr who spouts off words, lines and declamations that don't make very much sense in themselves but sound fine in rock and roll songs and are echoes of that great Southern literary seam that Michael Stipe worked on so avidly thirty or so years ago. They're messianic in the way that rock music allows bands to be.

All the songs work on a similar formula. Musically they're halfway between being an alternative band and a heavy rock one, though they veer more naturally towards the former disposition, either due to their cultural or record collection predilections. They're certainly not The Allman Brothers. Nor are they Television, Thin Lizzy, Sonic Youth, (or Wishbone Ash for that matter), all bands who favoured a twin-guitar approach. Television are probably a close reference point and I adore Television so am naturally inclined to go for this too. They don't quite match the high points of the aforementioned bands on this record anyway though they might be one day with a bit of refinement and thought if they're so inclined. At their best though on I Hear You, they verge on small magnificence.

On the bands homepage on the Sub Pop website there's a spouting, (which you'd have to imagine comes straight from the band themselves), of utterly nonsensical, found poetry. It all adds to the mix. You can only imagine how fabulous they would sound live. For now, this will very much do!

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