Review Summary: A fumble. A drop. A pass.Don’t Write Poetry
is the debut EP by Brisbane based Arrows, a group with a melancholy approach to life, which works in well with their quiet, laid back music. This EP, whilst not quite up to the standards of their debut, did manage to lay down some of the frameworks that made their album Modern Art & Politics
so compelling. From the leading semi-instrumental Introduction
to the drab closer of Clever
, this does present a young group struggling to find their footing, and hitting some good and bad notes.
The overarching issue that I seem to find with this record is that many of the tracks fail to go anywhere. They start off slow, cruise slowly and conclude with no real feeling of accomplishment. It’s quite disappointing because there are some brilliant passages spaced throughout the record, such as the phrase in Don’t Bull*** A Bull***ter
where Morgan slowly pushes out (in a hilarious manner) “I admit that I’m the cunt.” It comes across as so brutally honest you can’t help but love it, not to mention that the flippant use of one of Australia’s favourite profanities shows the real “born under the Southern Cross” vibe.
Another downside is that throughout, the techniques used on the guitar just very, very samey. You can hear the same chord passes with little pieces of harmonies flogged over the top and it’s disappointing, because there’s no crescendo with some parts. This is partly down to the lower quality of a recording, as some of the distortion sounds tinnier than rain falling on an outback outhouse. The percussive flow however is brilliant and allows for the small movement within songs, contributing some incredible energy in parts, going from hard hits to light hits on cymbals within short progressions. It really is nice to hear that percussive element being treated in a more encompassing way than the bog standard production in most modern songs. Bass is also lovely as it does not sit forgotten in the mix, coming up with some flowing pieces that contribute nicely to tracks such as Sleep? I Do Not, Miss
. You really gain an appreciation for the simplicity of the little phrases as they throw a comfortable backing behind the other instruments and vocals.
The vocals are the final point of discussion to be had here and they’re on the mark so much that it’s hard to say much else about them. They’re good; they provide a dynamic approach to the music, there’s not much else to say. The strained quality sometimes does really make songs break out of that okay bracket and into the great zone. Morgan does quite frequently belt out some impressive range and his husky tone is altogether quite unique and creates a good emotional tone. The lyrics vary from an average to above average and you really get the sense that it’s just a young band feeling their way through the motions. Not quite into the swing of things, but getting there.
When you view this in it’s entirety, it’s good. It’s a passable album that drags quiet heavily for it’s half hour run time, and that’s impressive considering the EP only has 7 tracks, one of which is a short introduction track. It’s well worth the check out, and if you can persist, there are some definite gems to be found here.