Crazy Arm - Born to Ruin

If I’m honest here I must admit that I almost baulked at dropping the needle on this album as the prospect of enduring the gut wrenching political correctness of a bunch of Plymouth based vegan anarcho-punks filled me with utter dread. My fears of being brow beaten with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer were, thankfully, unfounded as Crazy Arm convey their convictions without resorting to the tired slogans and political ranting one associates with the genre. It certainly doesn’t feel like a debut album because this band have hit the ground running, a feat no doubt aided by the masterful production of Peter Miles who appears to be carving himself a niche in giving bands like The King Blues and Sonic Boom Six a bit of pop sensibility. Finally there appears to be an understanding that in order to be a credible ‘punk’ band one doesn’t have to emulate Crass and make a record that sounds like it was recorded in the toilets at Victoria Station: This album erupts into the room.

Still to Keep immediately engages with its galloping rhythm reminiscent of Maiden’s Run to the Hills whilst Blind Summit skilfully blends banjos with behemoth slabs of crunching metal. It is an encouraging start and the quality only really dips, for me, with Desire Lines which is saturated with syncopated percussion but ultimately drifts off without holding my attention. This is a minor gripe though and is soon forgotten by the time the album arrives at its tour de force title track Born to Ruin which follows Phil Lynnot’s lead in redefinition of the traditional notion of ‘folk music’. Perhaps this should have been expected of a band which cites both Fugazi and Pete Seeger as critical influences. I can also hear more contemporary similarities and Henry Fabian Flynn boasts not only a Manic Street Preachers style title but also drops in a few James Dean Bradfield descending guitar runs for good measure.

This is a decent debut and anyone who has any time for bands such as Stiff Little Fingers should find something to celebrate here. And, as great as the album sounds, I’d imagine that the band really come into their element onstage. Find out for yourselves for you can catch them on their current UK tour this month:

2 Jun Cavern Exeter
6 Jun Hobos Bridgend
7 Jun Fawcett Inn Portsmouth
9 Jun The Farmhouse Canterbury
11 Jun King Alfs Southampton
12 Jun White Rabbit Plymouth
14 Jun Prince Albert Brighton
15 Jun Marquee Norwich
16 Jun Portland Arms Cambridge
17 Jun Purple Turtle London
19 Jun The Xoo Bar Sunderland
21 Jun Cricketers Keighley
22 Jun Retro Bar Manchester



out of 10
Category Review

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