Bandcamp Picks

Bandcamp Pick of the Week 5/31/2024

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It’s our Bandcamp Pick of the Week, featuring Extra Arms’ sticky, hooky power pop gem RADAR! 

Radar Extra Arms cover

Extra Arms – RADAR

Genre: Power Pop 

Favorite Tracks: “All Good Things Take Time,” “I Don’t Wanna Surrender,” “Shut Em Down”

There is an inherent simplicity to power pop, and Extra Arms’ new LP, RADAR, captures it perfectly. Unpretentious and instantly gratifying, it’s like audio cotton candy: light, bright, fluffy, sticky, and sweet. Only three songs are longer than three minutes, and there are no illusions as to what Extra Arms is here to do: deliver soaring singalong hooks and sparkling riffs. And for less than 28 minutes that’s exactly what they do.

“Be Someone Else” and “Everything Disappears” set the tone with huge riffs and Ryan Allen’s reedy vocals. Allen has a knack for crafting melodies that sound immediately familiar; his voice is warm and breathless, turning every lyric into a rallying cry. “I Don’t Wanna Surrender,” which mostly consists of the title lyric over a pulsing beat and jangly riff, is a prime example. Where that sort of repetition could feel like a crutch, Allen uses it as a tool, letting each successive hook build off the energy of the previous.

That doesn’t mean Extra Arms never switches it up. “All Good Things Take Time” mixes trumpet in over some handclaps and “na na”s, to infectious effect, and the ramshackle bar band closer “Sit Back Up” features copious saxophone; square in the middle of the tracklist comes “Space and Time,” a detour into country rock complete with pedal steel. With its rattling drum machines and chunky leads, “Shut Em Down” nods to The Cars, neatly closing the circle on their classic power pop influences. It feels less like a copy and more like an homage; RADAR doesn’t just borrow from Extra Arms’ influences, it puts them on the same level. Grab it on Bandcamp and take it on a drive with the windows down.

Zac Djamoos
Zac Djamoos is an Editor for The Alternative whose work you've also read on Chorus.fm and Treble Zine!

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