13 October 2011

Arm - Arm LP / Simple Victim 7"

I trust Brian Pauley. When he sends me music, the odds that I will enjoy it are high. Camel Beast and Pu' Rens were both impressive Charleston-area bands with which I was not familiar. So when Brian sent me an e-mail saying, "This... is a band called Arm. They came from Minneapolis, Minnesota. 3 piece band. Amazing. My favorite band that came to Common Grounds," I was very excited. Brian said he booked these guys in the mid-90s on a show with Dirt Bear, Flood and Seven. Local show-goers responded so positively, Arm returned not long after to play to a good crowd despite no local support. Upon their visit, they left Brian with these two records - a 7" and self-released LP.

"Great songs. Great band," Brian said, and he is right. This is right up my alley - mid-'90s post-hardcore in the vein of Drive Like Jehu, Fugazi, Unwound or Lungfish. Arm would have fit well somewhere between the AmRep and Dischord rosters - subtle, noisy, melodic and abrasive with a lot of energetic flair. (The "Simple Victim" 7" was produced by AmRep's Tim Mac and released on Lori Barbero's Spanish Fly Records.) It wasn't until years after the band's demise that they gained much popularity. That may have had something with Arm's drummer Bobby Drake going on to play in The Hold Steady, and bassist Nate Grumdahl was in Selby Tigers. Nevertheless, I am really into both of these records. So if you're into any of the bands I mentioned, AmRep or Dischord, or just post-hardcore in general, check this out. I really wish I could have seen them play at the Common Grounds.
Artist: Arm
Albums: Arm LP / Simple Victim 7"
Years: 1996 / 1995
For fans of: Drive Like Jehu, Fugazi, Unwound

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