ARSE - Safe Word 7"
Who Comes Next?
Hailing from dystopian Sydney, the punk rock trio known as ARSE arrived
at the end of 2017 with their acerbic debut Primitive Species on a
cassette tape, sounding like the bastard lineage of Feedtime and Black
Flag with an uber-modern spin. Equal parts dumb, terrifying and fitting
for the times, Species copped the full vinyl treatment six months later
courtesy of German punk label Erste Theke Tontraeger. By years end it
had crash-landed on The Quietus’ best of 2018 punk round-up alongside
Hank Wood and The Hammerheads, Geld and Amyl and The Sniffers.
content, as their music attests, ARSE have since opened for Cosmic
Psychos (AU), No Age (US) and released a split seven-inch record with Sydney noise-assassins Party Dozen. The
forthcoming Safe Word EP, a stop-gap on the road to long player glory,
is four tracks of future-fried punk the world truly deserves.
like bands that fall on the dividing line between noise rock and
hardcore, and Arse are right in that pocket, using pogo beats, wild and
noisy guitar solos, and a nihilistic vocal bark that will appeal to fans
of Geld, Gay Kiss, Walls, and other bands that trace their lineage back
to Black Flag’s My War. Far from just a copycat band, though, Arse
strike me as more artsy and ambitious than any of the aforementioned
I hear this in the
guitar solos (which are particularly unhinged, like Ginn and Hendrix on
a bunch of bad drugs), but even more on the two songs that end each
side of the EP. These aren’t so much songs as abstract noise /
electronic pieces that flesh out the world hinted at in those guitar
leads into a full-on post-apocalyptic soundscape. Far beyond your
typical “dude stringing together a bunch of guitar pedals and hitting
them at random,” these intricately composed pieces scratch the same itch
as Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream.
This EP is fascinating.
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