Review Summary: I like this more than I'm willing to let on.
I was surprised, to say the least. I thought my hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania was musically inept, like the Gods of Talent had contemplated, “Nah, the Amish are enough for one city, let’s move onto Philly.”
And here comes 1994!, and not too quietly I might add. I don’t quite know why, it could be the birthplace thing, but I have to admit I feel a fairly strong affinity with Thank You Arms And Fingers
. The two-piece have the two qualities that can make any music enjoyable, in my humble opinion- energy and sincerity. These two factors alone are enough to impress me, and Thank You Arms and Fingers
is certainly a showcase of these two intangibles hard at work. From the lo-fi atmosphere that is incessant or the artwork’s obvious DIY approach and knack for simplicity that draw me to their melodic and mathy indie-rock. Scratch that, the genres here feel a bit too constricting for Thank You Arms and Fingers
. Sure, there’s elements of math-rock, post-hardcore, emo, and the like, but it’s truly difficult to pinpoint an exact point-of-reference.
With song names that begin each song with a chuckle, it’s certainly heartening to see 1994! not taking themselves too seriously. From what I hear, it’s this quality that makes their live shows spectacular. It’s difficult to find a mention of the band without ample compliments on their live performance. This certainly translates to the music, as the percussion especially feels incredibly accessible, like the drummer is right over there. This is largely due to the sheer volume of Thank You Arms and Fingers
, I’m sure. Meant to be played at exorbitant decibels, 1994!’s knack for the loud and the fast is impressive on first-listen and on twentieth-listen.
The riffs are fast, tight, and mathy, as the guitars complement the screams well. The vocals are a bit under-produced (expectedly), but certainly add to the sincere aesthetic that is well-embodied on Thank You Arms and Fingers
. The structure, also, is particularly endearing. 1994! seem to always know when to keep up the pace, like on the exuberant highlight, “Sexual Alien Vs. Sexual Predator,” but are self-aware enough to take a few respites- i.e. “Steep Cliff Mountain Type Jaunt” with its slower pace and gang vocals. The adept and intricate percussion is worth a mention, and is perhaps what most separates 1994! from similar counterparts.
What I found in Thank You Arms and Fingers
is an accessible yet talented young band on the verge of a fantastic release. While 1994! doesn’t quite do enough to separate themselves with Thank You Arms and Fingers
, the band are certainly on my radar to look out for. Plus, they might just give Lancaster a claim to fame other than the Amish, now that’s what I’m really looking for.