Extra Arms “What Is Even Happening Right Now”
We have been great fans of Ryan Allen for several years now. Over that time we have seen a slight shift in his musical style. He’s always known his way around a good ‘pop’ tune, but as he has started recording with his band it’s added a bit of ‘muscle’ to his sound. The music isn’t exactly hard, but the melodies are just a bit stronger, the choruses louder and it’s all delivered with greater assurance.
Things get off to a flying start on this latest release with the brilliant almost pop punk of “Fun Guy”. Despite its reference to mental health, the big drums and hand claps make this a fun start to the album. Together with tracks like “Feeling Alright” and “Life In A Cube”, these songs act as a real reminder of how uplifting music can be and how a great power pop track can put you in a good mood.
Amongst many of the highlights on the album is “Big Dogs”, the song remains firmly in power pop territory (in the classic Costello style) but there’s an important contemporary edge to it. Songs like “In Control” just leave you wishing the mainstream music scene was more open to this kind of music. Surely, everyone has room in their life for the sweet pop/rock sound of the brilliant “Click Wars” and “I Don’t Wanna Die”.
I guess we should all just be grateful that Ryan and his band are still consistently delivering this kind of high-quality music. In terms of a fine slice of power pop that will lift your spirits and swell your mood then this could be the perfect soundtrack to your summer.