Arsonists Get All the Girls
The Game Of Life


3.5
great

Review

by Brent Stephenson USER (67 Reviews)
August 9th, 2008 | 44 replies | 12,538 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Arsonists Get All The Girls return with their sophomore effort, The Game Of Life. Though the album is far from a modern metal classic, the band shows definite signs of progression and improvement.

Arsonists Get All The Girls' debut release, Hits From The Bow, was an album that garnered a lot of hate, and occasional praise, from the musical community. Complaints of the album ranged anywhere from the ridiculous song titles, and the often immature humor that came with them, to bland songwriting, sub par musicianship, and the seemingly forced use of electronic and jazz elements. The main problem with the use of jazz and electronic elements on the debut was that the band simply didn't have the songwriting ability to make these elements work properly, so it appeared as though they simply threw the elements into the songs at random intervals. It seemed as though AGTAG would just be another cookie cutter band, spawning out of the much maligned sub-genre of deathcore.

The Game Of Life still contains the electronic and jazz elements, and the sense of humor is still there, although it has been slightly refined. The thing that makes it different this go around is that the band actually seems to have used these elements to contribute to the overall cohesiveness of the songs. In fact, The Game Of Life flows surprisingly well and feels like an actual album, whereas the debut merely seemed like a collection of half baked ideas that were hastily thrown together. That being said, the band still has a bit of room for improvement.

Perhaps the most notable musical difference on the album is the vast improvement of the guitar work. While the first album seemed like a huge collection of breakdown riffs with the occasional underwhelming lead part, the guitars now actually employ the usage of riffs, proper leads, and harmonies. The bassist is actually audible for most of the album, and in a surprising twist it actually builds on the band's sound. The keyboards never really get overbearing and usually only appear during sections that benefit from them. The drumming and vocals, which were both solid on the first album, have also improved a great deal. The band uses both of their vocalists, yes there are two, in a very effective way, and they play off of each other very nicely. Both vocalists have a great range, and its also easy to distinguish one vocalist from the other for most of the album. The higher screams may be a bit off putting to some listeners however, as they can sometimes have a rather grating edge to it.

The opening track, Business In The Front, immediately throws off the childish humor from the first release. For those of you unfamiliar with Hits From The Bow, the opening song starts with a bunch of kids shouting for ice cream over the classic ice cream truck jingle, which then turns into gunshots and pandemonium. Business In The Front is a very quite intro track with echoing guitars and nothing more, so the band already shows that they have matured. Save The Castle, Screw The Princes, then fades in and opens in a way that almost resembles a slower Between The Buried And Me track, and then explodes into blastbeats and choatic screaming over a mildly technical guitar riff. The song carries on in this manner until the synths enter the picture about three minutes into it. The song then progresses into a slower section with pounding double bass a rather interesting guitar solo. The solo is interesting in the fact that it is purposefully out of tune, and I mean way out of tune, yet somehow the notes all fit together and it makes for a rather head turning ending.

Cuffed To Your Ankles starts off sounding almost like a Shadows Fall song, with the riffs and even vocals sounding eerily similar to something the aforementioned band would produce, but that is quickly thrown out the window as the song gets thrown into a rather out of tune section that chugs on about as slow as molasses (in a good way). The song contains a clean section and yet another solo, albeit a rather underwhelming one. The solo isn't technically complicated but it does add to the chilled out vibe of the songs ending section. The rest of the songs either fall into the category of slightly forgettable, or greatly enjoyable. Shoeshine For Neptune, the albums first single, is arguably the best song on here. The song showcases all of the elements the band has improved on since previously, with technical riffing, pseudo breakdowns with lightning fast arpeggios, interesting keyboard parts and guitar harmonies, and great vocal interplay and drumming. A good example of the band expounding on the jazz elements they previously attempted, and failed at, would be the intro section to 13 Year Old Ruby, which starts out as an impromptu jazz progression and morphs unexpectedly into a metal riff.

The cons on this album are largely the same as the first, but to a lesser degree. Even though the guitarists have improved a lot, they are still clearly not being used to their full potential. After listening to the ending breakdown in Shoeshine For Neptune, which contains some very hectic arpeggios, along with a few other moments of high technicality, the guitar work feels very unbalanced. Riffs are either very technical, or rather simple, and the guitarists are clearly capable of writing really interesting stuff. Also, even with the improved songwriting, some sections can tend to drag on, or feel like they popped out of nowhere for no reason at all. People may gripe about the song titles, but that's about as far as the moronic side of the humor extends. All in all, the band did a good job in approaching this with a sense of maturity and actually put in the effort to write a collection of good material, and if they progress as much on the next release as they did on this one, they have the potential to really save this failing genre.

Pros
-Two vocalists are utilized very well, and both give great performances
-All musical aspects of the band have improved
-Synth and jazz elements now actually help the songs flow

Cons
-Even though the guitars have vastly improved, it is easy to tell they are capable of so much more
-Some parts of songs still feel disjointed
-The BTBAM and Shadows Fall comparisons may lead some to feel like the band got lazy and ripped off some of their contemporaries a bit, but this only happens twice on the album

Recommended Tracks
Save The Castle, Screw The Princess
Shoeshine For Neptune
Thirteen Year Old Ruby
Claiming Middle Age A Decade Early



Recent reviews by this author
BATS The Sleep of ReasonCoheed and Cambria The Afterman: Ascension
Sohns Ripe/RotBaroness Yellow and Green
Red Fang Murder the MountainsGood Night & Good Morning Good Night & Good Morning
user ratings (291)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
randomguitarist (3.5)
Improving greatly from their debut release, Arsonists Get All The Girls' "The Game of Life" shows a ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Xplisit
August 9th 2008


1646 Comments


i listen to save the castle pretty much everyday.

SEEPPPPARATING
BOODYYY
FROM HEEAAADDD

DWittisarockstar
August 9th 2008


1501 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I like Hits From The Bow better.

A lot better. Good review.

beans
August 9th 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I also like hits from the bow a bit better but I have a soft spot for these guys for some reason

marksellsuswallets
August 9th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Both albums are good in their own different ways. I do happen to like this album as a whole a bit better.
Scobra Vs. Cupcake is awesome though.

botb
August 9th 2008


9673 Comments


a fun band fosho.

thomasj12e34
August 10th 2008


195 Comments


I think this album had better structure then their last album.

marksellsuswallets
August 10th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't really think that their first album had a lack of structure. In fact the new album has about the same about of structure as the debut, its just that on the first album the band wasn't really able to make the songs flow well at all, which made it seem like everything was unstructured. That's just my opinion though

AbyssalCreation
August 10th 2008


2041 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, i agree with you pretty much on everything you said.This album was definitely one of the biggest suprises of 07 for me.It took me a little while to get past some of the screams, but after I did i fell in love with this cd. I'm still not sure whether I like this one or Hits From The Bow more.Their brand of schitzophrenic, keyboard induced Deathcore/Grindcore just does it for me.

Can't wait to see these guys at Thrash and Burn going to be a great show.

One last thing R.I.P Pat that guy was a really nice dude, based on what i've heard.

toolguitarkid
August 15th 2008


262 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i like hits from the bow better too, but this is still a solid cd.

marksellsuswallets
September 6th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You know I keep coming back and listening to this album every week or so and it still hasn't lost any of its reply value with the exception of like three or four songs...

iamthenightmare
September 6th 2008


754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

shoeshine for neptune ftw

marksellsuswallets
September 6th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^yes!

beans
September 6th 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

great song

i like the last one too

and save the castle screw the princess

Xplisit
September 6th 2008


1646 Comments


for sure, shoeshine and save the caste own.

i also like troft trouble and claiming middle age. the intro to robandos is pretty cool.

Papasfritas42
October 12th 2008


29 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

currently listening to this cd for the first time all the way through, and I am pretty excited. Shoeshine for Neptune and Cuffed to Your Ankles are excellent songs...

I kinda wish that To Get Eaten by the Rats was longer, but that song is balls either way....

Good review and these guys are among my favorites now...

marksellsuswallets
October 13th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah man they're pretty great but there are other bands in their vein that are even better...Genghis Tron for example (slightly more grindcore but yeah)

botb
October 13th 2008


9673 Comments


i was fucking around on my guitar today and randomly figured out the sweep part in the breakdown of shoeshine for neptune. i felt accomplished.

marksellsuswallets
October 13th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

no wai same thing happened 2 me lyk last month!!11!1 haven't listened to this in a couple weeks...feeling the need to again...

botb
October 13th 2008


9673 Comments


jugga jug jug jugga jug jug sweeeeeep stringskip sweep hammeron'd

marksellsuswallets
October 13th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Man that song is awesome...oh and don't forget the end sweep breakdown...
jugga jugga jug jug jug jug jug jug *weedleedeedlee* jug jug jug *deedleedeedlee* jug jug jug *deedleedeedlee*



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy