The Armed
Only Love


4.5
superb

Review

by Prancer USER (4 Reviews)
April 27th, 2018 | 367 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What's not to love?

The Armed are an unpredictable band to say the least. No one knows exactly who is in the band because they are a collective of people who each seem to contribute to the band in their own way. Look at numerous band photos of The Armed and you will see an unexpected looking group of men and women, but watch a video of them playing live and you will see a completely different group of people. The confidentiality of this band seems by design from the band themselves. They only want you to be concerned with the art rather than the artist; a concept that seems alien to contemporary pop culture in which the business of an artist is more important than the artist’s music. The Armed’s primary objective is to deliver their music to listeners’ ears as efficiently possible, even if that means giving it all away for free on their Bandcamp in lossless quality.

Only Love is the followup LP to the band’s 2015 untitled album, an unforgiving album that destroyed everything in its path. However, this time around The Armed show they are capable of love just as much as they are capable of rage. The Armed have always been rooted in hardcore punk, but they have never shied away from experimentation, often including noise, electronic, and even pop elements in their music. Only Love is The Armed’s most turbulent piece of work yet, never settling for one sound or style.

Only Love picks up right where Untitled left off with “Witness,” a cacophony that serves as the perfect grand opening for this record. This track is as equally dense in noise as it is in melody and showcases The Armed’s new direction. Only Love is saturated with electronics, and The Armed use them to further drown you in more sound as if they had difficulty doing that in the first place. As loud as “Witness” is, it manages to add on more layers of sound that build up to a grandiose “ta-da” ending. In fact, many of the songs here have a cinematic feel to them that nicely transition from track to track like you’re listening to the soundtrack of a futuristic action movie.

The softer cuts on Only Love separate it from any other The Armed album with a significant amount of clean singing mixed in with the expected screaming. Shoegazing atmospheres are introduced in “Ultraglass” and “Luxury Themes,” which is one of the best tracks on the album, while “Nowhere to be Found” has a trip hop feel to it. With all the newly engineered beauty in The Armed’s repertoire, it goes without saying The Armed are at their best when they are making earsplitting noise sound like a pop song, and I can’t think of another band that makes noise sound this catchy. Take heed of this craziness in “Parody Warning” which also has the nice surprise of some female vocals.

With all the different layers of sound piled with distortion playing at the same time, it seems like a miracle Only Love is even an audible record. Even with good speakers this album is definitely optimized for headphone listening. The production is delicately mixed and mastered as abrasive as a hardcore album should sound without compromising the way the electronics intertwine with the instruments. Only Love is a challenging record for hardcore music, treading water in several different subgenres. But The Armed don’t care. They’re the greatest band in the whole world.


user ratings (203)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
JimMead (4)
Deciphering white noise...

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Untitled

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Comments:Add a Comment 
calmrose
April 27th 2018


4673 Comments


album rules so hard, closer is immense

Digging: PUP - Morbid Stuff

Slex
April 27th 2018


6451 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I was missing out on this band holy fuck. This is way better than their last imo

Digging: Blessed (CAN) - Salt

Tyler.
April 27th 2018


16676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you didnt even mention the best song here

Prancer
April 27th 2018


942 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I don't want to spoil the ending ;)

Tyler.
April 27th 2018


16676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not that song

Prancer
April 27th 2018


942 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

which song?

TooManyFriends
April 27th 2018


3017 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

insane album

calmrose
April 27th 2018


4673 Comments


those final 30 seconds or so in Parody Warning go HARD

"which song?"

my guess is Apperception or Fortune's Daughter

Tyler.
April 27th 2018


16676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fortunes daughter yeah

EJinHD
April 27th 2018


125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i didn't know that i needed this

pypypymble
April 27th 2018


483 Comments


i hope this won't let me down, judging by the singles, there's gonna be more experimentation here which can rub me the wrong way sometimes

pypypymble
April 27th 2018


483 Comments


but hey you niggas are lovin it so far, maybe there's a chance

StickFeit
April 27th 2018


1021 Comments


Fuck ye boiis, the wait is over!

owen
April 27th 2018


5146 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

heavy genghis tron vibes

TrveBarbarian
April 27th 2018


57 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

They’re the greatest band in the whole world. [2]

Prancer
April 27th 2018


942 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

whoa, thanks for the front page feature. hopefully this album gets the attention it deserves

TomAkaVeto
April 27th 2018


1958 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hell yeah.

pypypymble
April 27th 2018


483 Comments


had to listen to one wing by the chariot to cleanse my ears after hearing this, the production is a fucking horrible mess, ruined the whole experience for me

Slex
April 27th 2018


6451 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I could not possibly disagree more

pypypymble
April 27th 2018


483 Comments


i just don't like it all dreamy and glossy



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