Long Arms “Young Life”
The bio of this band certainly left us with a sense of anticipation. Talking about “a sound built for open highways, car dashboards and barroom stages” certainly sounds like our favourite place to listen to music. Add to that a feeling of life as a teenage punk and a feel for electric rock n roll then this would appear to be an album right up our street.
We love albums that kick off with a high impact rock n roll number and that’s the case with the title track “Young Life” on this release. There’s a simple, joyful, rock n roll feel to songs like “Run” and “Past Due”. They seem to be built to soundtrack a good time.
Indeed, when you hear up beat pop rockers like “Quentin”, “Is This Heaven” and “Party Girl” it comes as no surprise to hear that the band hail from the states. Surely these are songs that can only be written in the sunshine rather than the damp UK weather.
There’s also more of a punk rock kick to songs like “Goodnight Old Ghosts” and “Whirlywoods” which have us thinking of the Gaslight Anthem. Like that band, the songs have a storytelling approach and deliver songs which are equal parts punk attitude and melody. Tracks like “Trudy” and “Inside Out” are the sort of numbers you just wish were being blasted out on commercial radio. Surely then you would see this bands popularity explode. Whilst “Nova” sounds like it should soundtrack a weepy moment in a Hollywood blockbuster.
When the Gaslight Anthem first hit it huge here in the UK there was an inevitable glut of similar sounding bands. Many of these were ‘also rans’ and certainly didn’t have the quality being shown here by Long Arms. This is a bunch of refreshingly good rock songs. Not overly complicated but just songs that make you feel great and get your foot tapping and head shaking. Sounds easy but many bands fail to hit the sweet spot like Long Arms have here.